Background 8 comments

Last chance: Vote for the best Field Robot Concept!

From a fruit picking drone to a ‘jumping’ weeding robot: what is the most promising field robot concept in 2020? Future Farming and FIRA have organised a competition in which the best or most promising robot is selected. The jury selected 10 candidates from all submissions. The professional jury will assess these 10 entries. But the public can also vote. What do you think is the most promising field robot concept? Take part in the poll and cast your vote!

Recently, Future Farming launched the world’s first Field Robot Catalogue. In this robot catalogue you will find 35 field and harvest robots, which you will be able to buy, lease or hire in 2021.

All the robots in the catalogue are commercially available. However, there are also many concepts being developed. From tool carriers to picking drones; manufacturers are doing their best to develop practical robots that will help farmers cope with current and future challenges.

10 Field Robot Concepts

With this competition, Future Farming and FIRA want to encourage developers of robots worldwide to continue to develop smart solutions for farmers. Out of all the entries, 10 Field Robot Concepts have been selected.The professional jury will assess these 10 entries and choose the best or most promising one.

Public vote

In addition, there is a public vote. You can enter your vote in the poll at the bottom of this article. The winner will be announced at the same time as the jury winner on December 10, 2020. The annoucement will be made December 10 at 2:45 PM CET, in the “Demos & Pitches” room during the FIRA event. Or click here for the program of the FIRA event. You can vote for your favorite robot until December 9, 12.00 AM CET.

So your opinion counts! Below you will find a short summary of each robot concept, and a poll. With that poll you can vote for your best robot concept. If you would like to explain why you voted for a particular robot or have another comment, please leave a comment at the bottom of the article.

ETAROB tool carrier

Just recently spun-off from the University of Applied Sciences Aachen, German start-up AI.Land was created to commercialise the ETAROB field robot. Although still a research project, once commercialised, ETAROB is supposed to outperform all other systems currently out there.
Read all about the ETAROB tool carrier.

The ETAROB Tool Carrier.
The ETAROB Tool Carrier.


By combining the propellers of a quadcopter with an ingenious jumping mechanism, CropHopper is able to quickly travel across fields and work for much longer than a drone. It weighs 3kg, costs € 15/ha, can operate without an operator, it can work in-crop all season and it offers the potential to also automatically treat weeds, pests and diseases.
Read all about the CropHopper

The CropHopper.
The CropHopper.

H-Wodka Robotiller

A group of innovative Dutch arable farmers in the Hoeksche Waard joined in H-Wodka are having a field robot built for a range of shallow soil tillage operations.
The Robotiller will be a relatively light machine, supported by cage rollers to cover the entire width for minimal ground pressure. A power harrow and/or static tillage tools are incorporated in the implement between the electrically driven cage rollers split into three sections to allow for skid steering. The Robotiller is targeted to be a dedicated field robot for a range of shallow soil cultivations such as soil surface levelling, (false) seedbed and plantbed preparation, full width weed control and stubble cultivation.
Read all about the H-Wodka Robotiller

The Robotiller.
The Robotiller.

Tevel fruit picking drones

Tevel Aerobotics Technologies from Israel is developing flying autonomous robots used for picking various types of fruits, including apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums, citrus and avocado. The start-up is also working on thinning and pruning functionalities.
Read all about the Tevel fruit picking drones

Autonomous platforms each serve as a hub for up to 6 Tevel harvesting drones.
Autonomous platforms each serve as a hub for up to 6 Tevel harvesting drones.

Fendt Xaver

At the Fendt press event on September 3, the German brand presented its latest generation of Xaver field robots. The robot now has 3 instead of 4 wheels. It is now also equipped with a seeding unit with a disc coulter. The robot serves as a development platform for future technologies on large Fendt agricultural machines.

Read all about the Fendt Xaver

The Fendt Xaver.
The Fendt Xaver.

Fieldwork Robotics fruit and vegetable picking robot

Fieldwork Robotics has chosen raspberries as the first target for its robotic fruit and vegetable picking project. Raspberries are the most delicate of soft fruits – and with the added complication that they grow within complex foliage- they are a challenging first target for the UK-based company.
Fieldwork is a spin-out from the University of Plymouth, located on the south coast of England, where Dr Martin Stoelen leads the university’s Soft & Adaptive Robotics laboratory. The ‘soft’ technology covers variable pressure grips on the robot arm to suit the demands of the task being undertaken.
Read all about the Fieldwork Robotics fruit and vegetable picking robot

The FieldWork Robotics picking robot.
The FieldWork Robotics picking robot.

iTarra multifunctional robot tractor

iTarra is a fully autonomous and electrically driven crawler tractor, suitable for various applications, including in agriculture. The prototype is equipped with a diesel generator, which supplies a maximum of 110 kW of electrical power for powering implements.
Read all about the iTarra multifunctional robot tractor

The iTarra robot tractor.
The iTarra robot tractor.

Nexus Robotics weeding robot

A new prototype hybrid robot from Canadian start-up Nexus Robotics should be able to operate fully autonomously 24 hours a day. Robot La Chèvre (French for goat) is able to recognise crops at all stages of growth. It uses AI to differentiate between weeds and crops and then pulls out weeds that are very close to the crops without damaging the crops.
Read all about the Nexus Robotics weeding robot

Nexus Robotics’ robot La Chèvre.
Nexus Robotics’ robot La Chèvre.

Robotics Plus Unmanned Ground Vehicles

New Zealand’s Robotics Plus is beta testing three new Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV‘s) to demonstrate the application of its technology in several environments. The UGV’s allow growers to replace a heavy tractor vehicle with a human operator with a smaller, unmanned, more agile machine.
Read all about the Robotics Plus Unmanned Ground Vehicles

Robotics Plus Unmanned Ground Vehicle.
Robotics Plus Unmanned Ground Vehicle.

thingc Robotics electric robot

Australian startup thingc Robotics expects to deliver its first commercial agricultural robot in 18 months. But first thingc is planning to start field trials with 3 to 5 units in about 6 months. The startup wants to offer farmers a fully electric robotic platform, on which they can use the tools of their choice.

Read all about the thingc Robotics electric robot

thingc Robotics electric robot.
thingc Robotics electric robot.

Use the poll below to vote for your most promising Field Robot Concept.


  • GAJ Mangnus

    Nice machine for soil health

  • Tamme van der Wal

    I would like to vote for PixelFarming RobotOne! I don't know how the top 10 is constructed, but I missed PixelFarming whose concept and market approach is great.

  • Marin Midilev

    All robots are very good. The main mistakes that have been made are that they are developed as universal products and not as unified ones. They should be designed for a certain area for a certain type of crop, and the basic activity should be harvesting. The necessary tools should be interchangeable on a modular basis. Complex solutions are needed.

  • G Hekkert

    @ Tamme van der Wal; you can find the pixel farming robot in the Future Farming catalog fiield robots. And is therefore not included in this list of prototypes

  • JF Franko

    We love the thingc! Its FANTASTIC!

    This concept has been in our heads for a long time, too. Bike parts are fantastic, today. I hope the markt will adopt to this simple , cheap and still quite robost design concept, soon. Field robots are still to expensive...

    AgTech does not demand industrial standards on every level/layer.

    Keep it going and please get back to us via LinkedIN.

    #ETAROB @AI.Land GmbH Germany

    #Merging Nature and Technology.

  • Tamme van der Wal

    @Geert: thank you! I was perhaps not reading well. So these are all promising. All very interesting ideas though.

  • Manohar Sambandam

    This solution like simple, low cost and can suit small and large farms especially will meet the needs of countries like India. Will like to collaborate with them on our cotton picker solution

  • b woodall

    Believe the Crop Hopper is a great step forward to cutting exhaust pipe emissions reducing costs of spraying or fertilising according to need only.
    Well done to the inventors.

Load more comments (4)

Or register to be able to comment.