German machinery maker Claas and Dutch start-up AgXeed have entered into a partnership in which the former holds a minority stake. The aim is to further develop and market autonomous agricultural machinery.
The Netherlands-based company AgXeed offers an intelligent, sustainable and fully autonomous system with scalable hardware, virtual planning tools and comprehensive data models.
The autonomous field robot with diesel-electric drive, wheeled or fully tracked undercarriage, up to 156 hp and standard three-point linkages is to support farmers in a wide range of applications in the future.
“The commitment offers Claas access to innovative technologies in a familiar market segment and complements our own expertise in the field of autonomy and robotics,” said Thomas Böck, CEO of Claas Group.
“On the other hand, AgXeed can benefit from the Claas Group’s expertise and network in many areas such as data transfer, interfaces and drive solutions. Thus, in our eyes, there is a win-win situation, which was a reason for us to invest in another start-up, in addition to the targeted and advanced development of AgXeed technologies. The solutions offer concrete and economic added value to farmers and contractors, with availability in the near future.”
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“This type of collaboration reflects exactly what we stand for at AgXeed,” adds Joris Hiddema, co-founder of AgXeed BV. “Namely, forging forward-looking alliances between innovative companies striving for sustainable agriculture in which farmers can optimize productivity while protecting the soil and the environment. With Claas, we have a partner on board that believes in and shares our ideas regarding the future of agriculture and will bring our solutions to the fields and to farmers and contractors faster.”
Sales of the AgBot and associated software solutions and platforms are expected to begin in 2022, with the product and services providing sustainable added value for customers. The AgBot is to take over monotonous, tiring and sometimes dangerous work. In concrete terms, the ecosystem around the central, web-based planning and analysis tool increases efficiency through automatic, optimized route planning and machine settings, says AgXeed.
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The AgBot can be equipped with optional crawler tracks and has a low operating weight of maximum 6 tons. The vehicle also has an adjustable track width 300 to 910 mm), a load-sensing hydraulic system and power lifts with up to 8t lifting capacity.
An electrically driven PTO (independent of engine speed) and external high-voltage connections are available as options. The electronic equipment includes an RTK steering system as well as complete technology for hazard and obstacle detection.
As part of the market entry, AgBots are to be offered in different size and performance classes. Further solutions are currently under development.