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Cummins powers GUSS autonomous sprayer

GUSS, the driverless sprayer by Crinklaw Farm Services, is powered by Cummins.

California-based Crinklaw Farm Services Inc has chosen Cummins to power the world’s first autonomous orchard sprayer, the Global Unmanned Spray System (GUSS).

GUSS aims to ease the labor challenges facing agriculture, and provide gains in operational efficiency, precision and safety. Using a combination of GPS, vehicle sensors and software, a single employee can remotely monitor up to 10 GUSS sprayers at once across a variety of orchards.

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GUSS is 100% driverless. It was designed to remove the operator from the tractor and instead use software to drive the vehicle. - Photo: Crinklaw Farm Services
GUSS is 100% driverless. It was designed to remove the operator from the tractor and instead use software to drive the vehicle. - Photo: Crinklaw Farm Services

Cummins QSB6.7

Crinklaw Farm Services worked alongside Cummins to develop a suitable long term power solution for GUSS sprayers. The Cummins QSB6.7 engine will be powering the first and only autonomous orchard sprayer in the world. The QSB6.7 is a fully integrated system rated at 173hp (129 kW) with a cooled EGR and High Pressure Common Rail fuel system.

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The Cummins QSB6.7 is a fully integrated system rated at 173hp (129 kW) with a cooled EGR and High Pressure Common Rail fuel system. - Photo: Cummins
The Cummins QSB6.7 is a fully integrated system rated at 173hp (129 kW) with a cooled EGR and High Pressure Common Rail fuel system. - Photo: Cummins

Gary Thompson, Marketing Director for Crinklaw Farm Services, said: “GUSS’s whole design philosophy is based around innovation, efficiency and performance – building a machine that can spray row after row, day after day. For that, we needed a power solution we could rely on and Cummins has been very supportive in providing an exemplary engine package coupled with machine integration expertise. The QSB6.7 delivers clean and efficient combustion, and has maximized uptime. For us, 2019 is going to be a very exciting year, our new manufacturing facility in Kingsburg, California will be completed, enabling sales of GUSS globally”

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Ann Schmelzer, Global General Manager of Agriculture at Cummins, added: “As an incredibly innovative sector, agriculture provides a fantastic platform for autonomy, particularly when higher operational efficiencies and increased productivity are primary objectives. Integrating ultra-clean diesel engines with autonomous service vehicles is a great example of how the agriculture industry continues to move forward. We are excited to power such ground-breaking innovation.”

7 GUSS autonomous sprayers built

So far, Crinklaw Farm Services has built 7 GUSS autonomous sprayers which operate as part of their custom spray application service for mid to large scale tree farms. The California-based business is currently constructing a 20,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Kingsburg and expects to begin selling GUSS sprayers in 2019.

GUSS

GUSS is 100% driverless. It was designed to remove the operator from the tractor and instead use software to drive the vehicle. It utilizes the most advanced vehicle sensors and software available to guide itself through the orchard. The low-profile shape of GUSS was designed to allow tree branches to flow over the top of the vehicle so as to not damage or dislodge fruit from the tree limbs. Orchards are planted in various row widths, therefore GUSS was designed with 4-wheel steering giving it a 17-foot turning radius. This maximizes efficiency by allowing the machine to easily turn from one row to the next. A control van is utilized to monitor several sprayers at a time. Radio signals are continuously transmitted between the van and sprayers relaying position data, machine vital statistics, and live video for the van operator to monitor.

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