Demonstrations of autonomous tools with AgBot and GOtrack Auto Drive.

The Worldwide Tree Fruit Affiliation’s tour of Nova Scotia in July included greater than fashionable orchards: high-tech equipment shared the highlight. Attendees noticed varied machines on show at tour stops, together with an autonomous sprayer, container trailers and precision crop load administration expertise.

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Agbot

Within the Crisp Growers orchards, guests noticed an indication of the AgBot autonomous sprayer, manufactured by Dutch firms AgXeed and Hol Spraying Techniques. The AgBot is at the moment used as a sprayer in orchards, however over time it’s going to autonomously carry out different duties reminiscent of mowing, flail chopping and mechanical weeding, mentioned Sean Bartlett of Present Agro, an Ontario tools seller and AgBot distributor in North America.

Bartlett introduced the tools for the demonstration. He mentioned there are at the moment three AgBots working in Canadian orchards and a few in European orchards.

Provide Agro's Chris Bartlett operates the AgBot autonomous sprayer from his phone, sending it on a pre-planned route at dusk through Crisp Growers' high-density trellised orchards near Berwick, Nova Scotia, in July.  (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
Present Agro’s Chris Bartlett operates the AgBot autonomous sprayer from his telephone, sending it on a pre-planned route at nightfall by Crisp Growers’ high-density trellised orchards close to Berwick, Nova Scotia, in July. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

The AgBot is totally autonomous, powered by a 75-horsepower electrical motor, and guided by GPS. Agromanager GPS modules keep correct information of spraying, right down to tree stage. Sensors consider the scale of the quilt and modify the nozzles accordingly. The AgBot, geared up with a backup digital camera and lidar, stops if it detects an impediment or if the entrance bumper is pressed, Bartlett mentioned.

GOtrack

ProduceTech, a Quebec-based tools distributor, displayed some machines at Van Meekeren Farms. The tour noticed an indication of the GOtrack Auto Drive system, a bolt-on equipment that turns a tractor into an autonomous machine.

ProduceTech proprietor Frederic Lavoie mentioned the Auto Drive, designed by Polish firm GOtrack, can carry out a number of duties within the orchard, together with spraying and mowing.

Drive the tractor along the route once and GOtrack Auto Drive will record the route.  Next time, all you have to do is press play and the tractor will follow the pre-recorded path to the end of the row.  (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
Drive the tractor alongside the route as soon as and GOtrack Auto Drive will file the route. Subsequent time, all it’s a must to do is press play and the tractor will observe the pre-recorded path to the tip of the row. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Drive the tractor alongside the designated route as soon as and Auto Drive information all the pieces. Subsequent time you simply need to press play and the tractor will observe the recorded route. Auto Drive additionally controls the brakes, PTO and sprayer valves. Operators can modify the route and pace.

ProduceTech additionally displayed the Darwin CF 105, a container filling and orchard platform. Whereas the employees decide, they place the apples on the machine’s conveyor belt, which deposits them in a container. An accompanying three-level container trailer shops empty containers and deposits full containers on the bottom. The conveyor will also be eliminated, turning the CF 105 right into a platform that may carry out a number of duties within the orchard. The platform can accommodate as much as six staff or eight drones, due to a partnership with robotics firm Tevel. Related by cables, the drones decide up apples with a suction cup and place them on the conveyor belt. The drone system continues to be within the pre-commercial part, Lavoie mentioned.

vivid machines

The IFTA tour additionally heard updates from Ontario firm Vivid Machines, which manufactures vehicle-mounted digital digital camera programs for exact crop load administration. Co-founder Jenny Lemieux mentioned Vivid launched a brand new model of a fruit set dashboard, which takes knowledge from the digital camera system and immediately predicts fruit set. In addition they started making yield predictions quickly after thinning and are working carefully with packers and entrepreneurs on the information.

The corporate plans to launch a brand new, extra highly effective model of its digital camera system, the Vivid XV3, in 2024, Lemieux mentioned.

by Matt Milkovich

A rear view of the AgBot autonomous sprayer.  Each nozzle is controlled by sensors that evaluate the density of the tree canopy.  (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
A rear view of the AgBot autonomous sprayer. Every nozzle is managed by sensors that consider the density of the tree cover. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
Vivid Machines' Vivid-X vision system, on display at Crisp Growers in Nova Scotia, connects to ATVs and other vehicles and helps growers with precise crop load management.  (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
Vivid Machines’ Vivid-X imaginative and prescient system, on show at Crisp Growers in Nova Scotia, connects to ATVs and different automobiles and helps growers with exact crop load administration. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
ProduceTech, a Quebec equipment distributor, displays some of its machines at Van Meekeren Farms in Nova Scotia during the IFTA summer tour.  At the bottom is a tractor equipped with GOtrack Auto Drive, a bolt-on kit that makes it autonomous.  The tractor has a fertilizer spreader attached.  Also on display was an orchard platform and a container trailer, seen in the background.  (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
ProduceTech, a Quebec tools distributor, shows a few of its machines at Van Meekeren Farms in Nova Scotia in the course of the IFTA summer time tour. On the backside is a tractor geared up with GOtrack Auto Drive, a bolt-on equipment that makes it autonomous. The tractor has a fertilizer spreader connected. Additionally on show was an orchard platform and a container trailer, seen within the background. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
The Darwin CF 105, a container filler and orchard platform, attaches to a three-row container trailer.  Full containers are moved through the bottom row of the trailer and deposited at the end of the orchard row.  (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
The Darwin CF 105, a container filler and orchard platform, attaches to a three-row container trailer. Full containers are moved by the underside row of the trailer and deposited on the finish of the orchard row. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
At Wohlgemuth Farms, the International Tree Fruit Association saw machinery from Nova Scotia company Eastern Manufacturing & Design.  The container trailer seen here is designed to follow the track marked by the tractor, without hitting the rows of trees when moving from one row to another.  (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
At Wohlgemuth Farms, the Worldwide Tree Fruit Affiliation noticed equipment from Nova Scotia firm Japanese Manufacturing & Design. The container trailer seen right here is designed to observe the observe marked by the tractor, with out hitting the rows of timber when transferring from one row to a different. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

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