$ 350,000 to develop driverless tractor swarms

Illustration: Tony Tati
Illustration: Tony Tati

Barnstorm Agtech, a Canadian ag robotics start-up was awarded a $ 350,000 grant from the Saskatchewan Government to support the development of autonomous driverless tractor swarms.

The grant was awarded and will be administered by Innovation Saskatchewan. Innovation Saskatchewan will support and further enable research and testing at broadacre farms in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The funding comes from the Government of Saskatchewan’s Agtech Growth Fund.

Small, smart and less expensive

Barnstorm Agtech is a robotic swarm-farming venture providing an open platform for precision and powered deployment of farm technology. The company was founded in January 2020 by Parker Wells, a 4th generation farmer in Saskatchewan Canada who operates a 6,000-acre farm, and Mitchell London who founded several companies before and also is an investor.


Barnstorm Agtech is developing the Barnstormer, a mid-sized, hybrid-electric autonomous, swarming farm tractor. “The future of farming is all about smaller, much smarter and much less expensive machines deployed in fast-acting swarms over fields,” says Mr. Wells. “We call this ‘Barnstorming’”.

The Barnstormer technology is intended to complete basic farm operations such as tillage, spraying and spreading faster, at lower cost, and with no ‘single point of failure’ risks. With this approach, the company aims to reduce environmental impact, increase yields, and mitigate downtime risks. It will also directly address the chronic labour shortages of the Canadian Prairies.

During 2021, the company has also raised CAN$ 1 million in seed funding from individual investors and two prominent angel syndicates: 99Tartans (Carnegie Mellon University alumni investors) and Reinforced Ventures (an angel syndicate focused on Autonomy, Robotics and Deep Science).

René Koerhuis Precision Farming Specialist