Beehive sensors, meat made from plant protein, horticultural robotics and electric farm bikes kicked off the first Hardware Meetup AKL on Wednesday evening. 

A huge thank you goes to BuzzTech, Sunfed Meats, Robotics Plus, and Locus Research for speaking.

Event attendees included engineers, founders, product developers and executives working in companies such as Emirates Team New Zealand, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, GPC Electronics, Fonterra, Trademe, BEP Marine, Blender, Anemoi Robotics, TruTest, Callaghan Innovation, Downer and PushPay.

The fantastic GridAKL sponsored the venue, and Wharf42, Datacom and Garage Project sponsored the food and drinks.

Speaker #1: Julian McCurdy from BuzzTech

Julian McCurdy is CEO & Director of BuzzTech, a company whose focus is on developing beehive management software and sensors to address the growing demand for useful data within the global apiculture industry.

Having successfully completed the Sprout Agri-Tech Accelerator early in 2016 and securing seed funding in August 2016, BuzzTech is now piloting its technology with key partners, preparing for production ramp-up, and looking forward to Series A fundraising in 2017.

Julian is looking for more beekeepers to trial his product - if you're interested, please flick him an email.

Speaker #2: Shama Lee from Sunfed Meats

Shama Lee is Founder and CEO of Sunfed Meats. A software programmer turned food tech entrepreneur, Shama is re-imagining the high-protein food system, and her company is turning plant protein into meat. Her product tastes, feels and cooks like meat but is healthier for us, and lighter on the planet.

Shama has attracted high profile global and local investors, and is setting up the first plant-based meat processing plant in the Southern Hemisphere. Sunfed Meats recently won the Innovation Excellence in Research Award at the 2016 NZ Innovation Awards.

Sunfed Meats will be launching their first product soon - "chicken" - and you can follow progress and find stockists through following their Twitter.

Speaker #3: Dr Alistair Scarfe from Robotics Plus

Dr Alistair Scarfe is Director & COO of Robotics Plus, a company who have developed several world first technologies including an autonomous kiwifruit harvester, or Autonomous Mobile Modular Platform (AMMP) and their Robotic Apple Packing Cell (RAPC).

The Robotic Apple Packing Cell (RAPC)

The Robotic Apple Packing Cell (RAPC)

The Autonomous Mobile Modular Platform (AMMP).

The Autonomous Mobile Modular Platform (AMMP).

The RAPC was named as a finalist in three categories at this years NZ Innovation Awards, and Alistair was nominated for the Young NZ Innovator of the Year Award.


Alistair and the Robotics Plus team are currently looking for mechanical engineers, and people with software development experience with sensor technology. If you think you can help, reach out via email.

Speaker #4: Michael Peterson and Daniel Faris from Locus Research

Mike (Technical Director) and Dan (General Manager) of product design agency Locus Research spoke about helping Ubco electric farm bike founders Daryl Neal & Anthony Clyde further develop and commercialise their award-winning product.

The near silent Ubco is powered by a 40-amp/hour lithium-ion battery, can travel 100km to a charge, and can be fully recharged in six hours at a cost of 88 cents worth of NZ electricity.

The company is currently looking for purchasers for their bikes - they've just clocked 100 sales and are gearing up for global domination. You can find out more, book a test ride or purchase all from the website.

Other pictures from the event

We were very proud to have bought together such a diverse collection of people to meet each other and talk hardware.

If you'd like a copy of any of the below images, please flick us an email. Photography is courtesy of the very talented Sam and her company The Native Creative.

Stay tuned for the next event - Consumer Electronics - happening February 2017. See the full list of themes HERE. And subscribe to the mailing list to receive exclusive updates.


We're framing up sponsorship packages for both individual events and the full series. Send us an email to enquire about sponsoring these events.