Experiences of layoffs at Iron Ox

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Iron Ox’s autonomous cellular robotic Grover. | Supply: Iron Ox

There are stories of serious layoffs at Iron Ox, an agriculture know-how firm that makes use of robotics to customise take care of vegetation. Many now-former staff have posted on social media concerning the layoffs.

Whereas it’s unclear precisely what number of staff have been laid off, quite a few posts point out Iron Ox let go of roughly half of its staff. Iron Ox additionally laid off a smaller variety of staff a number of months in the past, in response to different posts from former staff.

Based mostly in Silicon Valley, Iron Ox is an agriculture know-how startup with deep experience in plant science, robotics and synthetic intelligence (AI). The corporate makes use of two robots in its rising course of.

The primary is Grover, a cellular robotic that autonomously navigates by way of Iron Ox’s greenhouses. Grover slides beneath the corporate’s plant-growing modules, picks them up and takes them wherever they must be. This might embody shifting the modules to get new vegetation and provides present vegetation extra daylight, diet and water.

Iron Ox’s different robotic, Max, delivers and displays every module’s water, nutrient, combine and pH ranges. Max works with Grover to optimize plant yield, broaden development cycles and maximize crop high quality. The corporate additionally makes use of robotic arms to are inclined to the vegetation. 

Iron Ox’s final funding spherical closed in September 2021 and introduced the corporate’s whole funding to $98 million.

Iron Ox isn’t the one firm feeling monetary strain recently. Fifth Season, one other agricultural know-how firm, closed down final week, in response to reporting from the Pittsburgh Enterprise Instances. Fifth Season used robotics to develop leafy greens in vertical farms. The greens could be distributed in salad kits offered at grocery shops. The corporate employed round 100 employees.

Additionally final week, autonomous driving firm Argo AI shut down. A few of Argo AI’s round 2,000 staff would both be receiving provides from Ford or Volkswagen, which have been the 2 major monetary backers of Argo AI.

The Robotic Reportreached out to Iron Ox for touch upon the layoffs however didn’t hear again at press time.

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