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An amazing team. One vision.

Great technology needs great minds. 

Few companies are truly innovative. Fortunately, Xihelm is one that can legitimately lay claim to the label – for behind Xihelm’s autonomous greenhouse technology lies a team of engineers, PhD researchers and computer scientists, sharing a common vision: 

  • building the world’s most perfect robotic harvester for glasshouse fruit and vegetables
  • creating a powerful, bespoke AI capable of automating all laborious farm work

In just three years, this agri-tech team has developed and refined what’s become the UK’s first viable automated handwork robot: Eagle, directed by omatai™. Here are their stories.

Executive team

James Kent

Executive team


James has a firm pedigree in innovation.Having filed no less than 16 patents during his five years at Google, his multidisciplinary approach has led and informed Xihelm’s rigorous R&D programme, keeping the team ahead of the competition and capturing the attention of agri-tech investors.
james kent

James Waltham

Executive team

Non Executive Director

As Ex. MD of Haygrove Ltd and over 20 years experience in the horticultural sector and having worked in a range of large, international fresh produce businesses, James provides Xihelm with grower insight and industry experience with a particular emphasis on commercial development
and mentoring.
james waltham

John Carroll

Executive team

Interim CFO

With over 20 years experience analysing business performance and strategy for major banks in the UK and Australia, John comes to Xihelm as a seasoned finance specialist with a firm basis in both strategy and financial analysis.
john carroll

Ben Money-Coomes

Executive team

Technical Program Manager

Holding a Masters Degree in Robotics and a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Ben brings 9+ years of experience in high value project management at BP, on large scale engineering projects. Alongside Xihelm, Ben is also a mentor at Girls into Coding and helps run the green robotics zero waste refill project.
ben money coomes

Jonne Jeyalingam

hardware team

Hardware Lead

Joining Xihelm in 2018, straight from academia where he’d been working as a post-doctoral researcher at Brunel University, Jonne brings valuable knowledge from other industries and sectors into our agritech development. He was also the entrepreneurial lead on the ICURe Innovation-to-Commercialisation programme (ICURe), piloted by the SETsquared Partnership and Innovate UK.
jonne j

Adam Fry

hardware team

Integration Engineer

A graduate of the University of Bath, Adam takes new ideas through concept and prototyping stages until they’re ready to be deployed. Joining Xihelm in 2018, Adam brings in-depth knowledge and understanding of robotic solutions for confined and hazardous environments after an industry placement year at OC Robotics, a division of AGE Aviation.
adam f

Hadjer Deayaldeen

hardware team

Electronics Engineer

Hadjer holds a degree in BEng Biomedical Engineering from City University of London. Working at Perkin Elmer as an Associate Electronics Design Engineer, she developed a more cost-effective stage controller board for the Spotlight 200i FT-IR Microscopy System. During her time at Emteq Labs, she developed and designed numerous electronic PCB designs as a Junior Electronics Engineer.
hadjer d

Lucy Rushbrook

hardware team

Mechatronics Engineer

Holding a First Class Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Lucy is familiar with designing innovative subsystems after working on the design and build of a solar powered car that she raced across Australia. She has also worked on a multi-million pound district heating project, designed and built a cabin in her garden, and carried out award-winning research into supercapacitors.
lucy r

Ingo Keller

software  team

Head of Engineering

With over 15 years of experience in developing complex, full-stack software solutions, Ingo has the rare ability to apply his extensive knowledge of software engineering, artificial intelligence and robotics knowledge to real-world problems. Joining Xihelm in 2020, Ingo’s gift for ‘translating’ lab science into practical field applications has been invaluable in maximising the company’s R&D output.
ingo k

Manuel Zafra Granados

software  team

Robotics Software Engineer

Manuel is a qualified robotics engineer specialising in autonomous vehicles and mobile robots. Previously heading up a multidisciplinary engineering group for the Hyster-Yale Group, tasked with developing an automatic solution for material handling, Manuel also worked as a software engineer for GlobalLogic. His Master’s degree is in Automation and Industrial Electronics Engineering.
manuel g

Rob Clark

software  team

Robotics Software Engineer

Rob was awarded a MSc in Advanced Robotics from Queen Mary University and brings years of experience working in technology and quantitative financial groups with an emphasis on low-latency electronic trading.
rob c

Naman Kumar

software  team

Robotics Software Engineer

Naman holds a Bachelors in Electronics and Communication from PEC University of Technology and Masters in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. Previously, he led Robotics efforts at an Agriculture Robotics company specialising in de-weeding cotton farms. He has also worked on Autonomous vehicles and indoor navigation robots.
naman k

Adelize van Eeden

research  team

Computer Vision Engineer

Adelize holds a BEng degree in Mechatronic Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. In her few short years in the industry - she gained extensive experience designing and optimising algorithms in applied mathematics and physics. Her industry experience in Research and Development enables her to have a holistic view of all operations at Xihelm.
adelize e

Cansın Ayşegül Sapmaz

research  team

Computer Vision Engineer

Holding BSc in computer science from Koc University and MSc in artificial intelligence from City University of London, Cansin brings her experience in creating and improving deep learning models and is passionate about novel ways of representing data.
cansın s

Filippos Sotiropoulos

research  team

Computer Vision Engineer

Filippos completed a PhD at MIT, working on robotic excavation and focusing primarily on control theory and dynamic system modeling, leveraging tools in computer vision and robotic perception. His past experience and past studies make him invaluable to advancing the perception and decision making processes of Xihelm’s systems, to harvest tomatoes faster and more reliably.
filippos s

Darren “Dash” Blair


Operations Manager

During nearly four years at Xihelm, Darren (or ‘Dash’, as he’s known) has been responsible for deployment of Xihelm’s autonomous robots across multiple partner grower sites. Managing trials, field experiments and new operator training.Dash’s role also includes managing trials, field experiments, new operator training and overseeing the operations of all customer sites.

Anthony Kanellopoulos

field opperations  team


Previously Head of Operations at Xihelm, Anthony continues to advise Xihelm on business and operational fronts, to ensure Xihelm continues to progress through their robot builds, field experiences and R&D operations. A self-confessed database explorer and computer networker, Anthony’s a veteran of various start-ups in London and New York.
anthony k