Automation and autonomy are hot topics when it comes to sustainable farming techniques, and some equipment manufacturers are at the forefront of developments. The research and advanced engineering department of agricultural engineering manufacturer AGCO/Fendt, for example, has been working on swarm technology and innovative robotics.
According to an article by the manufacturer, manual work that today requires large numbers of laborers toiling on the land will certainly be automated in the future.
“This will eliminate the burden of monotonous work and pave the way for more sustainably produced foods,” AGCO states.
THE SMALLEST OF SEEDERS
The latest generation of the Fendt Xaver is equipped with a seed unit developed by Precision Planting, an AGCO subsidiary.
“Through Precision Planting, we’ve been able to draw on the AGCO Group’s agronomy expertise and proven technology to produce our seed-sowing robots,” says Dr. Benno Pichlmaier, AGCO’s director of global technology and innovation. “We adapted the modules of the first Xaver generation and combined them with the new seed unit. Proven concepts have been combined with the innovative robotics design, which has led to a new, integrated system.”
The vSet® solution spaces the seed rapidly and with utmost precision. An electrically driven control system deposits individual grains with centimeter-accuracy at a predefined distance in the row. The grains are dropped in the furrow by a flexible firmer.
The new Xaver has three wheels, with the last one driving the robot and acting as a gauge wheel. As it passes over, it compacts the soil gently to the side and above the seed, closing the soil around the grain to ensure moisture supply and initiate germination.
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