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More details emerge on Kuhn’s autonomous field robot, Karl

02-10-2023 | |
The presence of an exhaust on top of the hood indicates the use of an internal combustion engine. - Photo: Kuhn
The presence of an exhaust on top of the hood indicates the use of an internal combustion engine. - Photo: Kuhn

French agricultural machinery manufacturer Kuhn has provided additional insights into its upcoming autonomous field robot, Karl, following a leak of images via French media.

Karl, a multifunctional field robot designed for open-field cultivation, was initially announced by Kuhn in July during a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Saverne, where few details were revealed.

Combustion engine

The leaked images published by Farm Connexion showcase Karl as a compact robot propelled by two rubber tracks, with the engine situated between them. The presence of an exhaust on top of the hood indicates the use of an internal combustion engine. However, whether it employs a hybrid concept, such as a diesel engine combined with a dynamo supplying power for the electric propulsion of the tracks and power take-off (PTO), remains unclear.

A similar hybrid drive system is found in AgXeed’s Agbot 5.115T2 field robot, which, at first glance, shares resemblances with Karl. Notably, Karl is equipped with both front and rear hitches, enabling the use of various implements, such as a front packer and a rotary harrow at the rear.

Need for lighter equipment

During the initial announcement in July, Kuhn CEO Thierry Krier emphasized the significance of consolidating multiple operations into a single pass, highlighting it as the future of agricultural machinery. He also acknowledged the need for lighter equipment to enhance soil quality, recognizing the prevalent challenges posed by labor shortages in the farming sector. Krier clarified that Karl is not merely an autonomous tractor but a comprehensive solution designed for the European market. “The current version is complete,” he stated, reinforcing Kuhn’s commitment to providing innovative equipment solutions for modern agriculture.

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Hekkert
Geert Hekkert Chief editor of Future Farming
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