fbpx

Tortuga AgTech wins Ag Robot of the Year 2024 award, Digital Workbench public favourite

08-02 | |
Photos: Tortuga
Photos: Tortuga

The Tortuga AgTech strawberry and table grape harvesting robot is the winner of the Ag Robot of the Year 2024 award. The robot is primarily designed for harvesting but can also collect data for forecasts, treat plants with UV-C light and perform trimming.

Geert Hekkert, editor in chief of Future Farming and René Koerhuis, editor specialised in precision agriculture and robotics, announced the winner during the 8th edition of the World FIRA in Toulouse/Auzeville-Tolosane (France) on Thursday 8 February 2024. The Tortuga AgTech harvesting robot was chosen from 12 initial candidates and 5 finalists by an expert jury consisting of Future Farming editors, a university researcher robotics and precision agriculture and farmers from across the world. A prominent new jury member was Anna Haldewang, founder and CEO of the InsightTRAC Rover who won the Ag Robot of the Year award in 2023.

The other 4 finalists were the Andela Robot Weeder ARW-912, Digital workbench Tipard 1800, Ekobot WEAI and the Tensorfield Agriculture Jetty.

The 5 finalists were judged by each jury member individually according to these 5 criteria:

  1. Originality/technical breakthrough
  2. Feasibility/market readiness
  3. Potential to impact farmer’s life
  4. Ease of farmer uptake, and
  5. Sustainability

Text continues below picture

The robot’s AI uses nearly twenty ‘models’ to make complex picking decisions, relies on advanced software for two-arm picking and navigates in the row precisely and autonomously.
The robot’s AI uses nearly twenty ‘models’ to make complex picking decisions, relies on advanced software for two-arm picking and navigates in the row precisely and autonomously.

This is why Tortuga AgTech was chosen

One of the main arguments why the jury chose Tortuga AgTech as the winner is the fact that the harvesting robot addresses one of the most significant challenges faced by agricultural businesses: the shortage of affordable and skilled labour. The jury was also impressed by its ability to harvest multiple types of fruits with a single robotic harvester. This machine transforms what was only a vision a few years ago into a reality. It demonstrates how ag robots are the future, making predictions come to life and inspiring others to explore the possibilities. It’s highly practical, offered on a service contract basis at a cost equivalent to hiring labour. Its real value lies not in labour savings but in providing a solution to the industry’s labour crisis. Some farmers have ceased crop production due to the lack of harvest staff. Additionally, its versatility shines as it not only harvests and transports crops but also treats them with UV light, trims runners, and logs essential data.

This motivation hits the absolute core of why Future Farming and World FIRA have taken the initiative to award the ag robot of the year for which field and harvest robots that were newly added to Future Farming’s buyers’ guide between February 2023 and January 2024, automatically qualified. That is to award praxis ready, farmer friendly, profitable and scalable field and harvest robots capable of automating one or more operations in outdoor grown crops.

Text continues below picture

Tortuga’s robotic harvesting platform is primarily designed for harvesting but can also collect data for forecasts, treat plants with UV-C light and perform trimming.
Tortuga’s robotic harvesting platform is primarily designed for harvesting but can also collect data for forecasts, treat plants with UV-C light and perform trimming.

As a winner, the Tortuga AgTech harvesting robot will be featured as the main image in the promotion of the World FIRA of 2025, Future Farming will offer a canvas of their rover with the Ag Robot of the Year award logo and JoJo’s Vineyard (run by jury member Ian Beecher-Jones) from the UK is offering a bottle of their best wine to the winners.

Text continues below picture

The Digital Workbench Tipard 1800 was preferred by the majority of the public voters. - Photo: Mark Pasveer

The Digital Workbench Tipard 1800 was preferred by the majority of the public voters. – Photo: Mark Pasveer

Digital Workbench is Ag Robot of 2024 according to public voters

Besides the expert jury’s choice, Future Farming visitors could choose their personal favourite between 23 January and 4 February. Alike the expert jury’s winner, the public favourite was also announced at World FIRA on 8 February 2024. And the public favourite of 2024 is … the Digital Workbench Tipard 1800! Digital Workbench wins a free year subscription to Future Farming, the latest special magazine, and most importantly the recognition of being the 2024 favourite robot of our readers!

Join 17.000+ subscribers

Subscribe to our newsletter and we keep you updated about all the need-to-know content in the agricultural sector, two times a week.

Koerhuis
René Koerhuis Precision Farming Specialist





Beheer