Canadian Manufacturing

Mycionics receives $4.2M in funding from NGen for robotic solution to improve mushroom harvesting

The entire harvesting process will be optimized through the application of data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

July 7, 2021  by CM Staff

HAMILTON — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced almost $4.2 million in collaborative funding for a multi-partner project, led by Mycionics, that will deploy robotic solutions to improve the mushroom harvesting process.

Mycionics, in partnership with Whitecrest Mushrooms Ltd. and Piccioni Brothers Mushroom Farm Ltd. will deploy and demonstrate the commercial viability of the Mycionics robotic mushroom harvesting system. The Mycionics system will fully automate mushroom harvesting using advanced robotics and automation. The entire harvesting process will be optimized through the application of data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Mycionics will be the first company in the world to automate the end-to-end mushroom harvesting process for the fresh market.

“This is exactly the type of project the Canadian Government aims to support through the supercluster initiative,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Leading edge Canadian companies like Mycionics promote Canadian solutions to global problems. This project pushes the boundaries beyond the currently available technology and develops advanced manufacturing and high-skilled labour capabilities in Canada while exporting ground-breaking technology to the rest of the world.”

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As a complete system, Mycionics robotic mushroom harvester purports to increase the yield of a growing room through a “smart graze harvesting” strategy, picking over a 24-hour period and allowing the system to pick each mushroom at the optimal time instead of being restricted to harvesting only during normal working hours. Additionally, the ability to harvest robotically and the use of data analytics will hopefully increase food safety, traceability and disease detection.

The company is also positioned to see significant growth as they begin servicing farms throughout North America and Europe.

“This project serves to highlight exactly what NGen hopes to achieve through its supercluster project funding,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. “The Mycionics project brings together multiple partners from different sectors of the economy to develop and build a world class advanced manufacturing solution. In the process, Mycionics will create jobs, establish a Canadian supply chain for machine parts and assembly, help build out the entire advanced manufacturing ecosystem, and have a lasting and positive impact on Canadians and the economy.”

“Our partnership with NGen will accelerate commercialization of Mycionics patented robotic mushroom harvesting to solve the increasing labour shortage affecting mushroom farms globally.  Mycionics robotics were designed to simply integrate with existing mushroom farm infrastructure commonly used throughout the world.”  Michael Curry, CEO, Mycionics.