News & Interviews


Edge Executive Insight – Yaniv Maor, CEO & Founder, Tevel Aerobotics – Rising Star of the Year FINALIST

In the lead up to Edge Computing World, we’re taking some time to speak to key Executives from the leading companies. Today we’re talking with Yaniv Maor, CEO & Founder of Tevel Aerobotics


Tell us a bit about yourself – what led you to get involved in the edge computing market and Tevel Aerobotics

I founded Tevel Aerobotics Technologies in 2017 after recognizing the hardships and challenges farmers face due to the extreme shortage in fruit-picking labor. I watched an Israeli documentary called ‘I Have a Job For You’ by presenter Chaim Hecht. The documentary tasked young, 20-year-olds with picking fruit in the orchards. They all quit within half a day. I was inspired to find a technological solution to this problem and started Tevel Aerobotics. I drew on passion for artificial intelligence, sustainability and translating ideas into technological products and combined it with my over two decades of managerial experience in consumer markets and industrial defense.

Tevel understood the need to make the data collected by the fruit-picking robots accessible to farmers and to Tevel. Network conditions in orchards are extremely limited, making it difficult to have a high connection and to upload continuous data from the orchard. Tevel incorporated edge computing to our data flow architecture to overcome these constraints. As the company grows, we understand the need to have information about the fleet of robots for maintenance and preventive action.

What is it you & your company are uniquely bringing to the edge market?

Tevel’s cutting-edge software provides real-time invaluable data on the orchard’s harvesting status and the fruit picking performed by our robot. The data gathered by our software gives farmers a unique knowledge of the exact characteristics and content of each bin prior to delivering it to the packing house. This enables growers to eliminate uncertainty regarding market value, quality, and output.

The computing architecture of Tevel Aerobotics contains several peripheral units: neural network processors, on-robot sensor bridge and flight controller. Each of these units run their own software. Tevel found a unique solution for the challenge of deploying different software versions and collecting the data. We utilize a multi-service software, traditionally used in cloud computing, for deploying and orchestrating all the different applications that are simultaneously run on numerous hardware systems. Our edge computing product is unlike anything else that exists in today’s orchard management market. This computing architecture allows us to gather and process massive amounts of real-time information on the fruit quality and yield of each tree in the orchard; including amount of fruit picked, its weight, size, diameter, color grading, ripeness and much more.


Tell us more about the company, what’s your advantages compared to others on the market, who is involved, and what are your major milestones so far?

Tevel Aerobotics Technologies is filling the extreme shortage in agricultural labor using fruit-picking Flying Autonomous Robots™. Tevel’s flying robots are driven by state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms to identify and selectively pick fruit. Tevel’s robots are agile, demonstrate exceptional maneuverability, can operate 24/7, do not require breaks and are cost efficient to the farmer. The Flying Autonomous Robot™ avoids bruising as it gently picks the fruit and has been proven to pick as equal to or better than humans.

We collaborate with agricultural machinery manufacturers and growers, including Rivoira Group, HMC Farms, Kubota, Darwin Harvesting Group, Blueline and others. Notable investors include OurCrowd, Maverick Ventures, AgFunder, Forbon and Kubota.

We are commercially picking fruit in California and Italy and are expanding our operations worldwide. Our team is making significant advancements in broadening our harvesting portfolio which already includes apples, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and Asian pears. Soon we will expand to additional fruit such as citrus and avocado. We are also developing capabilities for the Flying Autonomous Robot™ to perform additional tasks in the orchard, such as precision spraying, pruning, and thinning.

Other technologies in the field are ground, stationary machines that are limited in their picking ability. These machines are less agile and do not have a high degree of maneuverability, thereby hindering their ability to access all the fruit on the trees. These machines are priced in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per unit and are not cost efficient to the farmer.


How do you see the edge market developing over the next few years?

Edge computing applications will become more common in agriculture in the coming years. As farms struggle with low communication and network quality, problems that arise from unstable network connections will require the attention of protecting and securing the data and code from being obtained by unwanted parties. Fast and automatic cloud synchronization solutions are needed. Tevel expects the edge computing industry will invest greater efforts to resolve these issues in agriculture.

What are the main trends you see about integrating edge computing into different verticals?

Our prediction is that more sensors will be developed and integrated into farming operations. This trend will advance the efficiency of harvesting operations and crop quality. We also predict that autonomous robots will be an integral part of agricultural operations and will be able to perform a greater variety of different tasks in the orchard, such as picking, fertilization, soil management, pesticide spraying, weeding and more.