Newport Nursery Uses Robots for Time Consuming, Dull Job

Updated: 05/29/2014 6:37 PM By: Tim Sherno

Bailey Nurseries in Newport is using robots to help separate potted plants.

The robots are made by a Massachusetts company called Harvest Automation. The company approached Bailey and a handful of other large national nurseries five years ago to ask if there was any interest in automating some jobs.

John Fisk, the director of operations at Bailey, says the robots are used to space potted plants, which is giving them extra room to grow. The job is time consuming and requires little to no skill and Fisk says that's a good job for a robot.

"We can take manpower and use it for a job that's more interesting more beneficial for the employee and the company, and these robots can do things like this."

The robots cost $30,000 each. Fisk says Bailey will evaluate the robots and could expand the fleet in the coming years.