A ROBOTICS company of fewer than three years, has closed the biggest contract for any robotics company in the UK known to date.

Wootzano Ltd, based at NETPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, signed the £300mil+ deal prior to the release of their state-of-the-art robotic system known as Avarai.

The contract signed with one of the largest pack-house giants in Britain in April 2021, closing one of the most significant deals in the country.

Wootzano's system is capable of handling, pruning, estimating weight, inspecting quality, and packing delicate produce.

Over-the-air updates are used to keep the robots performing with optimum efficiency.

They are also able to predict shelf-life and reduce the time fresh produce spends in a supply chain resulting in fresher produce on the shelves to the consumer and reduction of food waste.

The robot uses complex machine learning algorithms to perform the task and adapting to changing environments at the packaging facilities.

Wootzano Ltd had already seen rapid growth in the region during the pandemic.

Only weeks earlier, they won “digital engineering /technology” Made in the North East Award 2020.

Dr Atif Syed, founder and chief executive officer of Wootzano Ltd said: “This is an exceptional time for Wootzano and everything the team have worked on developing for the past two years.

"The technology we have developed gives immense value to our customers packaging various soft fruits and vegetable. Avarai is one of its kind and currently the only robotic system capable of carrying out various complex tasks to fruits such as grapes potentially giving a return on investment to our customers in about 12 months. This is exceptional and is a first in the packaging industry.”

Mark Beckwith, chief operating officer of Wootzano added: “There have been significant challenges to solve in developing a complete robotic system from the ground up and I am proud of our engineering team with the unique solutions they have developed to support the supply of fresh produce to supermarkets more efficiently.”

The deal follows a six-figure funding package from HSBC UK through a coronavirus loan scheme.

It has allowed the Sedgefield firm to protect multiple jobs, support cash flow and continue manufacturing thanks to the HSBC UK Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

A week before the UK went into lockdown due to the virus, Wootzano signed a distribution agreement to ship kits to customers allowing them to test and evaluate electronic skin made by the company.

The funding has helped support the company’s cashflow, enabled all staff to keep working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and allowed Wootzano engineers to continue manufacturing the sensors to meet customer demand.

HSBC UK is working closely with the UK Government and UK finance to identify emerging issues and make sure customers and businesses have the advice and support they need to run successfully.

For more information about the County Durham robotics company visit wootzano.com online.