Autonomy hits the paddocks in Australia

KONDININ Group researchers have inspected an AgXeed autonomous platform – known as an AgBot - the first of its kind in Australia.
Autonomy hits the paddocks in Australia Autonomy hits the paddocks in Australia Autonomy hits the paddocks in Australia Autonomy hits the paddocks in Australia Autonomy hits the paddocks in Australia

This is the first AgXeed AgBot in use in Australia, located near Moree in NSW. Photo Mark Saunders.

Mark Saunders

The autonomous AgBot is owned by Beefwood Farms at Moree in New South Wales where 12,500ha of crops are grown annually in a controlled traffic farming system.

Kondinin Group researchers saw the AgBot in action as well as a locally-made and supplied SwarmFarm platform located on a cotton-growing property near Jimbour in Queensland.

The AgBot is currently being used to tow a Flatrac wheel track renovator (from TPOS Fabrications in Victoria) while the SwarmFarm bot is spot spraying weeds in between rows of cotton plants.

Landpower Australia has been appointed the distributor of the AgXeed AgBot for Australia and New Zealand. Both CLAAS and Amazone are investors in AgXeed which is based in the Netherlands.

The AgBot inspected provides a diesel-electric platform, powered by a four-cylinder 115kW (156hp) Deutz diesel engine.

The AgBot is quite compact, measuring 4.5m in length and 1.8m tall but weighs almost eight tonnes empty and can be fitted with a front three-point linage (lift capacity of three tonnes) and rear three-point linkage (lift capacity of four tonnes).

The AgBot is fitted with 600mm wide tracks (on 3m centres) and an electric-drive power take off shaft which runs the Flatrac wheel track renovator.

Kondinin Group will be publishing an autonomy update Research Report in the June edition of its Farming Ahead magazine which includes case studies on the farmers using both the SwarmFarm and AgBot platforms.

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