Claas and Amazone increase autonomous investment

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Claas and Amazone have signalled their intentions to grow their autonomous presence by increasing their financial involvement with Dutch start-up AgXeed

Both machinery manufacturers will gain further access to autonomous technologies such as AgXeed’s agricultural robot, known as AgBot.

AgXeed has already developed several AgBot platforms, including a three-wheeled version for orchards and vineyards, a four-wheeled version for cropping and a tracked version for use in the broadacre sector.

Each six-tonne unit can be fitted with various implements for use in a wide range of operations in broadacre, pastures and speciality crops.

Standard AgBot features include RTK steering guidance, electronic hazard and obstacle detection, adjustable track width, load-sensing hydraulics and a three-point linkage with a lift capacity of eight tonnes.

The four-wheeled AgXeed AgBot fitted with a 3m Amazone rotary harrow with GreenDrill catch crop seeder box.

Claas Harvest Centre general manager – product, Tim Needham, says the company’s investment in autonomous technology could reap benefits for Australian farmers soon.

"One of the greatest limitations facing agriculture in Australia is the scarcity of skilled labour," he says.

"Autonomous machines can perform time-consuming and often monotonous cropping operations, leaving farmers more time to deal with more important jobs.

"In many cases, autonomous machines can perform tasks more efficiently and accurately than humans via the use of artificial intelligence to determine job sequencing, monitoring and machine optimisation."

The first AgBot models are planned for commercial release early next year, initially to the European market.

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