Initial feedback from winegrowers on the Naïo weeding robot

Thursday October 25 2018 by Vitisphere

On October 12 at Château Fombrauge, Benoît Chaillon tested soil tillage by the TED robot.On October 12 at Château Fombrauge, Benoît Chaillon tested soil tillage by the TED robot. - Photo credit : Alexandre Abellan

From the historic Percheron horse to the more common tractors, a high-tech plough has become an alternative solution for tilling and weeding Bordeaux’s right bank: TED, the electric robot by Toulouse start-up Naïo Technologies. Equipped alternately with inter-vine hoes and Kress finger weeders, the robot is as striking as it is surprising (see video below).

We are surprised by its effectiveness”, summed up Emmanuel Massé, vineyard manager at Château Fombrauge (60 hectares in Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé) who has been hosting weed control trials since June. “At a speed of 4 km/h, the device works the soil to a depth of 4 to 5 centimetres to break up the weeds. With a battery charge of 8 hours, TED is able to work continuously on 30 to 40 hectares for 5 days a week,” said Benoît Chaillan, head of vineyard monitoring at Naïo.

In practical terms, TED needs to record the map of the relevant vineyard (previously mapped by drone or by marking the entry and exit of the rows). In theory, the robot can then drive directly on the tracks in the vineyard and manoeuvre around the end of the row to move on to the next. In practice, the test carried out on October 12 in Saint-Émilion showed that rain the day before made the ground too sticky for the cylinders currently installed to successfully accomplish the manoeuvre automatically and more powerful cylinders will soon be mounted on the pre-series.







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