Robot takes care of field – and this might be the future
The Robot “Robotti” can almost do the same job as a tractor, but it does not need a driver. It manages it all by itself.
On a turnip field on Falster, the Southern part of Denmark, the robot Robotti drives around and hatches between rows. It has even sown the turnips, which must now be kept free from weed until they are harvested. The field with the two hectares of turnips is both created and looked after, without any farmer having spent time on it.
“It is quite groundbreaking”, says Bo J.M Secher, chief consultant at Nordic Sugar. They advise Danish beet growers and test new technology and techniques that can help streamline the workflow and create environmental benefits in agriculture.
Environmentally friendly spraying of turnips
This spring, Nordic Sugar launched a pilot project on the field at Falster, where they are testing the potential of allowing a robot to both sow, spray and clean a turnip field for weed.
“Now we only spend 20 % of what we usually spray with. It is quite a significant saving, which both benefits the farmers economically and affects the environment less”, says Bo J. M. Secher.
Since April 2019, 12 smaller robots from Danish robot manufacturer FarmDroid, have been driving around at organic turnip fields. The robot at Falster is still just an experiment, but it is not unrealistic that we in the future will see more like this.
“If there is economics in it, it could very well be a possibility that the small and medium-sized turnip growers joined forces for a robot and used it in their beet cultivation”, says Bo J. M. Secher.
The robot can work much more accurately than larger machines – which benefits the environment
Beginning to make sense
At FMR Machines, which sells Robotti, the enthusiasm is high. They are part of the Falster project, and they have had to prove, that the robot actually works. “It is pretty crazy. This is something we have been talking about for years, and now it is happening, now it actually runs”, says Henrik Rasmussen, director at FMR Machines.
The same message comes from the knowledge and innovation house SEGES, which is part of the Agriculture & Food Council, that creates solutions for future agriculture. Here, Jens Elbæk, head of department plant innovation, believes that it is a good development that a robot manages to take care of a field all alone. According to him, it testifies that is won’t be long before the robots become a natural part of Danish agriculture.