First robotic tractor in UK trialled in Suffolk

Danish robotics company Agrointelli has delivered its first Robotti robot tractor and tool carrier to the UK. The organic fresh produce farm, Home Farm Nacton, has taken delivery of a Robotti 150D, the first robotic implement-carrier in the UK, which has been operating on the Suffolk estate.

“A large amount of our produce is organic, so we are increasingly limited in how we can control weeds. Chemical application is repetitive work, as is manual weeding, and sourcing seasonal, overseas labour is becoming increasingly difficult. We wanted to future-proof the farm and Robotti is perfectly suited to our set-up,” explains Andrew Williams, farm director at Home Farm Nacton. “It can be in operation 24 hours a day, so there is a long window of opportunity for it to make a difference in the crucial weeding stages of the crops, fitting well into our cropping plan. It does exactly what we need, moving soil in the early stage of growth with guaranteed precision.”

The Robotti 150D has been in operation on the farm since mid-April, weeding a number of vegetable crops using a harrow attachment. Home Farm Nacton heard about Robotti through their Fram Farmers membership.

According to the manufacturer, the robot is best suited to bed systems and row crops, with the tool attachments carried in the centre, evenly distributing the weight across all four wheels. It can be fitted with various tools to weed, plant, cultivate or spot spray, with the ability to operate unmanned up to 24 hours a day using GPS mapping technology. Currently the Robotti unit has a top speed of 5km/h, but there are plans to increase this.

 

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