FIRA USA 2022 was a 3-day event for autonomous farming and agricultural robotics solutions. FIRA’s first US event was held from 18 to 20 October in Fresno, California, a major area for fruit and vegetable farming in the US. The event offered farmers, robot manufacturers and scientists an opportunity to meet.
During the in-field demonstrations, several field robots could be seen in action. Here some major takeaways of the robots demonstration day :
Carbon Robotics – a Seattle-based agricultural robotics star-tup founded in 2018, showcased their autonomous LaserWeeder, which was released in 2021. they are now also proposing a tow-behind implement.
The autonomous LaserWeeder is able to identify and eradicate early weeds in dense vegetable crop, such as carrots and radish.
FarmWise – a California-based agricultural robotics start-up founded in 2016. They currently commercialize a pay-per-acre weeding service, operating a fleet of fourteen Titan FT35 robots, autonomous mechanical weeders. In 2023, the company will release a tow-behind weeding implement.
FarmWise was able to demonstrate the versatile and precise mechanical weeding capabilities of the Titan FT35 between crops and rows.
Stout – established in 2019 in Salinas California, is privately owned by growers. With the Smart Cultivator, a mechanical weeding implement, they claim a portfolio of 20 crops weeding ability and a fleet of more than thirty robots, directly sold to farmers in California, Florida and UK.
Stout were also able to demonstrate their effective mechanical weeding between crop and row.
Naïo Technologies, founded in 2011 in France, has so far delivered more than 250 autonomous field robots for crop fields and vineyards. As a result of a partnership wit K.U.L.T. in Germany, they now provide active mechanical weeding attachments. Naïo operates in North America with Oiro, Ted and Oz products with the support of Keithly Williams as a certified dealer.
With 3 robots on the field, they demonstrated their ability to operate in various field sizes and farming configurations, from vegetable to vineyard.
Vitibot, founded in 2016 in Champagne (France) is now part of SDF Group, and provides an electrical autonomous vineyard straddler named Bakus. Vitibot is now developing in the USA with Bakus products distributed by Garton Tractor in California, a major agriculture and vineyard equipment dealer in california.
Bakus demonstrated a precise and versatile operation in a challenging and very thick canopy configuration.
Burro, founded in 2017 and based in Philadelphia, PA, USA, develops autonomous robots for open field and indoor farming operations.
This Burro robot demonstrated its ability to work with humans. The robot operates in various modes such as follow or precede a walking operator, learn and repeat a path and autonomously drive between canopy rows.
Robotics Plus, based in New Zealand, developed and deployed a range of robotic solutions with more than 200 units deployed globally. TheirUnmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) is an autonomous agriculture platform for tree crop farming tasks adapted to a range of tools or implements. They demonstrated a fast and versatile drive between vine rows, also operating a spraying system with automated end-row switch on/off.
Other robot manufacturers such as Monarch Tractor, Blue White Robotics and Amos were able to demonstrate their ability to provide smooth and accurate autonomous operations in between vine rows. Their robots are also capable of carrying and controlling various equipment for vineyard tasks.