The Brabant Development Corporation, together with private investors, is investing some half a million euros in Trabotyx's weeding robot. The start-up will use the investment to accelerate the development of the autonomous driving robot, which will be tested on fields in Brabant this summer.
The first version of the precision robot, which uses space technology when weeding, will be on the market next year.
The Trabotyx robot should initially provide an alternative for organic growers who rely on seasonal workers to remove weeds close to the plant. Deployment of the new robot can lead to a 25 percent cost savings. 'But the robot is certainly not just for organic farmers,' says Trabotyx founder Tim Kreukniet.
Conventional growers use crop protection products to control weeds, but the use of those products is under pressure due to regulations. Kreukniet: "In line with emerging European regulations, we are seeing an increasing demand for mechanical weed control. Our ambition is to offer a high-tech solution for weed control within five years that can compete with the use of pesticides.
'We are pleased that with this investment we can help Trabotyx with the further development of the weed robot,' says Bart van den Heuvel of the Brabant Development Corporation. 'The market for agricultural robots will grow from 715 million to 2.5 billion euros in the coming years. With a strong agricultural sector and a world-class high-tech sector, Brabant is excellently positioned to play a leading role in that market and in the transition to a sustainable food system. It's nice that Trabotyx is now also part of the ecosystem that we are developing in Brabant around precision agriculture.'