Narrow gauge robot can spray orchard autonomously

Item date:

10 November 2021

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Nieuws

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AgXeed and Hol Spraying Systems have teamed up to build a narrow-track robot with orchard sprayer. In addition to autonomous spraying, this robot can also mow and mechanically control weeds in orchards.

Small-track tractors have been made autonomous to work in orchards before. Robot builder AgXeed in Oirlo, Limburg, and orchard sprayer manufacturer Hol Spraying Systems (HSS) in Geldermalsen, Gelderland, are taking a different approach. Instead of converting an existing tractor and orchard sprayer, they fused the AgBot field robot and HSS's spraying technology.

The result is an autonomous driving three-wheeler, the AgBot 2.055W3 with a compactly built orchard sprayer that can work almost endlessly, including at night. After 35 hours, the 170 liter diesel tank of the 75 hp four-cylinder Deutz engine is empty.

From 200,000 euros

The price of the robot with sprayer will be 200,000 euros. With filling station and other implements added it will be 280.000 euro.

'From an orchard of 25 hectares it is possible,' says Hendrik Hol of HSS. 'There is soon 30 to 35 times a year spraying with a protection product or foliar feed. Mowing the lawn ten times and hoeing the weeds a few times is enough for a grower to drive over the same path fifty times a year.

Savings

Hol reckons on saving 80 percent on labor and 30 percent on diesel. The robot thereby falls under the MIA/Vamil scheme and POP3+ subsidy is possible. Energy investment deduction (EIA) is not available, because it is a diesel vehicle.

Construction and control

In terms of construction and control, the Agbot is very similar to the tracked vehicle. Instead of both tracks, it is the rear wheels that steer the vehicle. Now only a third steering wheel has been added. The rear wheels (400/80R28) are driven by two 700-volt electric motors. Navigation is also done in the same way. The robot drives purely on GPS, so it doesn't need tree-line correction.

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Source: new Harvest