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The Braun Maschinenbau Vineyard Pilot Assistant system is based on German Robot Makers’ RowCropPilot assist lane guidance system. The company is the exclusive integrator of the RowCropPilot system on Fendt tractors.

What is the most striking according to the supplier
Mechanical undercutting of fruit trees demands the utmost concentration of the driver. Not only is precise steering of the tractor in the narrow vineyard rows necessary, it also requires the constant control and steering of mid-mounted tools left and right as well as often additional control of further implements. In order to relieve the driver in the control of the tools, Braun Maschinenbau has developed the so-called Vineyard Pilot Assistant (VPA) system. An independent system that controls the position of the implements in the interaxle, rear and front of the tractor.

How does the robot tractor with your system navigate and plan its work and paths?
With the aid of a laser scanner, both the contour of the soil and the individual vines are recorded and a three-dimensional profile image is generated. The information is transferred from the Braun VPA-system to the implements in the intermediate axle area. There is a permanent automatic positioning of the tools to the stem. At the same time, the width adjustable mulcher can also be controlled in the rear area.

How are implements operated and controlled by your system?
After activation of the system, the intermediate axle units automatically move to the working position (width and depth) when entering the vineyard rows at the optimum position. At the end of the row, the implements automatically move back to their parking/idle position.

What are the safety features
There are various feedbacks from the system when there is an error on the hardware or software.

What kind of work can your system do autonomously?
Soil cultivation, mechanical weed control and mowing.

Can you switch off autonomous mode and continue as a manned tractor for difficult work/circumstances?
Yes, there is always an option to switch off autonomous mode and drive the tractor manually.

How many systems are currently in the field and where?
We started the development in 2016 and currently have six systems in the field. Five in Germany and one in New Zealand.

What is the cost price per ha compared with a manned tractor?
Tractor speed can be doubled while achieving significantly improved work results, e.g. less damage to the vines.

Specifications

Company name and nationalityBraun Maschinenbau GmbH Germany
Product nameVineyard Pilot Assistant / RowCropPilot
Suitable brands and tractor/vehicle modelsFendt Vario 200 V/F/P
Technical requirements for tractor/vehicleN/A
Is your solution Isobus compatible?No
Possible minimum and maximum driving speeds0,5 km/h – 13 km/h
Main components autonomous retrofit kit08003 autonomy kit
08002 Row Crop Pilot
08001 Vineyard Pilot Assistant
Operator or driver nearby requiredYes
Price€48.000 / US$ 58,226 (system only, without tools)
Countries the product is for sale/rent in 2021Worldwide

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