Dragone Black Shire: Italian robotic tractor for heavy work

The autonomous tracked tractor is primarily developed for fruit and grape orchards, but the tractor can also be used in an open field. - Photo: Margriet Nijenhuis
The autonomous tracked tractor is primarily developed for fruit and grape orchards, but the tractor can also be used in an open field. - Photo: Margriet Nijenhuis

Italian company Dragone showed the Black Shire robotic tractor at Eima. Initially intended for orchards, the manufacturer wants to build as many as 200 of them by 2022.

A competitor for the AgXeed robotic tractor? See here the Black Shire Robot, type R 3075. The Italian robot tractor is equipped with a 70 hp diesel engine which drives a large generator to power the wheels and also the implements in front and behind. There is no power take-off, it is mainly thick power cables that will drive the external implements. The Black Shire is completely autonomous.

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The Black Shire (black workhorse) has both rear and front lifting equipment. The robot has no PTO. - Photo: Margriet Nijenhuis
The Black Shire (black workhorse) has both rear and front lifting equipment. The robot has no PTO. - Photo: Margriet Nijenhuis

The first time the machine arrives on a new plot, you can “teach” the machine manually via a remote control. After that, the robot tractor will autonomously finds its way.

The manufacturer, the Italian company Dragone (primarily known for flail mowers, shredders and sprayers), developed this autonomous tracked tractor primarily for fruit and grape orchards, but the tractor can also be used in an open field.

200 robot tractors to be built by 2022

The first 10 units have already been sold and the goal is to build 200 (!) by 2022. Project leader Claudio Rapalino explains that the target price for this massive, heavy-looking and at the same time compact robot is just under € 200,000 (USD 233,000). An official launch will follow in November and Dragone will put the machine to work in front of the public.

Van Hattum
Bas Van Hattum Editor-in-chief TREKKER