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Saga Robotics’ autonomous robot Thorvald transforms global agriculture

Published 28 Nov 2022 (updated 5 Apr 2024) · 3 min read

Quick information

  • Available
  • Americas and Europe

At a glance

  • Autonomous robots for farm labour
  • Perform both simple and complex tasks without supervision
  • Works under most farming conditions, making food production more efficient and sustainable

Saga Robotics is redefining agriculture by replacing traditional tractors and manual labour with advanced autonomous platforms equipped with artificial intelligence (AI). Its autonomous agricultural robot, Thorvald, reduces plant diseases and promotes sustainable food production with lower carbon emissions and a 60 to 90 per cent reduction in pesticide use.

Despite agriculture employing over 1.1 billion individuals worldwide, the sector is experiencing a shortage of labour, amidst a backdrop of repetitive and physically demanding tasks that define much of agricultural work.

Additionally, the sector is confronted with the daunting challenge of needing to double food production by 2050 to meet growing global demand. This situation places agriculture at a critical juncture, requiring a leap in efficiency to tackle labour shortages, boost food production and address climate change challenges.

Thorvald spearheading an agricultural transformation

The Thorvald robot excels in executing precise tasks across large areas and outperforms traditional farming methods. The next-generation Thorvald 3 robot represents a leap forward in robotic farming technology. It is designed for increased productivity and scalability, utilising high-intensity UV-C light to combat powdery mildew and significantly reduce chemical treatments in strawberry and grapevine production.

Thorvald 3 is outfitted with an expanding array of automated tools, including advanced data collection capabilities and predatory mites dispensing. These enable it to carry out a wide range of tasks from disease management to crop prediction, while dramatically reducing pesticide use and minimising waste and CO2 emissions.

“Clock House Farm is a leader in the field of farming innovations and Thorvald is a big part of that. We have actively been using Thorvald for the third year running and have experienced first-hand the significant effect and results of the Thorvald UV-C light, without any chemical intervention to protect our strawberry plants from powdery mildew during the season,” says Oliver Pascall, Managing Director at Clock House Farm Ltd (December 2022).

Thorvald in vineyard in Santa Maria
The Thorvald autonomous robot in a vineyard in Santa Maria, California.

Saga Robotics’ market potential and expansion

Agriculture, with its repetitive tasks and controlled environments, is ideally suited for autonomous robotic solutions. Goldman Sachs projects that the agritech sector will reach a market value of USD 240 billion, with precision farming techniques potentially increasing crop yields by up to 70 per cent by 2050.

Saga Robotics has over 50 employees and operational bases in Norway, the UK and the US, and is well-positioned for further expansion. Saga Robotics has garnered several awards for its innovation and contribution to the agritech sector, including the Tech Business of the Year at the Lincolnshire Enterprise Awards 2023. CEO Anne Dingstad was also named one of Norway’s top 50 women in tech by Abelia in 2023.

The company has secured significant long-term contracts with leading strawberry growers in the UK and grapevine producers in the US, and has a promising trajectory for market penetration and future growth.

Saga Robotics is also considering expanding and processing other plant types in the future. Plant pathologist David Gadoury at Cornell University was involved in the initial UV-C research and believes that the technology could eventually work against several other plant diseases.

“We have only begun to scratch the surface, and among the companies at the forefront of development, we find Saga Robotics,” he says.

Thorvald in a vinyard
Thorvald utilises high-intensity UV-C light to combat powdery mildew and significantly reduce chemical treatments in strawberry and grapevine production.

Tale Hagelsteen

Head of Marketing and Communications

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