Farmbot manufacturer Naio Technologies says its new Dino self-propelled weeder has a work rate potential of 3-5ha/day working autonomously for up to 8 hours. It is suited to hoeing between rows of salad and vegetable crops grown in beds.
Naio already manufactures the Oz weeding robot, which fits between the rows of these crops and is developing a straddle vine management vehicle. It says the Dino weeder is the first multi-row straddling robot to become available commercially.
French co-operative Agrial will put a Dino to work in its lettuce fields this year, as will Picvert, a vegetable grower in northern France and Portugal, in addition to crops of salad greens.
Another example will be used in Denmark for weeding trials in popular field crops, one will be used in the Chamber of Agriculture Farm 3.0 project in the Somme, northern France, and Naio plans to deliver another 6 this year.
The Dino weighs in at about 800kg (1,763lb) and is 2.5m (8ft 2in) long, 1.3m (4ft 3in) wide and its axles are adjustable between 1.4m and 1.8m (4ft 7in and 5ft 3in) to straddle crop beds from 1.2m to 1.6m wide (3ft 11in to 5ft 3in).
Working speed is typically 3-4kph (2-2.5mph), with electric drive transferred by chain to each traction/steering wheel mounted on the end of a pivoting axle. Guidance is by RTK GNSS and a vision system designed to recognise the crop rows and accurately guide the machine’s weeding tools as close as possible.