From 19th to 21st September 2023, Thiemo Buchner, Product Manager AMR and Andreas Mandl, Head of Product Line Agriculture, experts from our Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) team, attended the FIRA USA 2023 conference at Salinas Sports Complex in California. The FIRA is a three-day conference for autonomous farming and agricultural robotics solutions that brings together farmers, robotics specialists, scientists, and other industrial experts to discuss innovations in these topics. This year, Continental acted as a partner within the second FIRA USA.
Hundreds of visitors had the chance to see various robots in motion, that fulfill different tasks like picking, seeding, harvesting, fertilizing, and weed control on acres in live action. Continental is already developing an autonomous robot platform for greenhouse applications in this business field.
In addition, the conference featured different panel discussions, presentations, and speeches on autonomous farming and robotics. Thiemo Buchner gave some insights on realizing robotic technologies at scale: He introduced AMR’s business operations with a pilot customer in the robotic market. Here, the focus was on how to enable a potential partner to scale up from the initial concept idea to a high-volume production, by using Continental's know-how in serial development, industrialization and manufacturing.
"By presenting our collaboration model at the FIRA USA, we wanted to show that Continental has a tailored framework enabling scale-up companies to overcome the hurdles between first Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) and high-volume production. We could see by the feedback we received that we have chosen the right topic."
Thiemo Buchner, Product Manager AMR
This FIRA also gave start-ups a chance to pitch their solutions. In two hours, 12 different start-ups presented their products to gain interest from potential investors like Continental.
"We are already working together with partners for our AMR business, but conferences like the FIRA give us the opportunity to exchange with strong business-related stakeholders for possible future collaborations. This year, we were able to connect with interesting market experts and bring back fruitful insights for further developing the AMR Product Line Agriculture."
Andreas Mandl, Head of Product Line Agriculture