A high-tech puppet in the vineyard

Thursday May 07 2020 by Vitisphere

“Can you visualise the cameras that follow the ball from the top of large football stadiums? The cable robot works based on the same principles”“Can you visualise the cameras that follow the ball from the top of large football stadiums? The cable robot works based on the same principles”

In tomorrow’s world, four masts fixed on removable bases could divide your vineyard plots into squares. At the top, winches would wind and unwind cables that would move a platform to which you would attach your mechanical weeding, hoeing or spraying tools. You could call it a kind of high-tech puppet.

Copper automatically sprayed after a rainstorm

You wouldn't need a tractor. You wouldn't even have to be there. Software would trigger the winches depending on the weather, and copper would be sprayed over your vines after a rainstorm. The project is the brainchild of start-up firm Green Farm Robotics and was presented during a webinar on robotics held by Innovin on April 22. “Can you visualise the cameras that follow the ball from the top of large football stadiums? The principle is the same, it’s a kind of high-tech puppet show”, said CEO Laurent Blanchet. “Ultimately, though, we have simply revisited an ancient concept dating back to the first agricultural revolution, when fields were tilled by ploughs pulled by steam winches”.

An all-terrain robot

Won't the cables damage the vines when the robot goes down between the rows? “No, because we will be attaching a telescopic arm to them”, replied Blanchet. Aesthetics aside, the concept has everything going for it. The robot can work very closely to the base of the vines and can perform all the routine tasks in the vineyard, regardless of the slope or the condition of the soil, which could even be covered in mud. As a tractor is no longer necessary, inter-row distances can be limited to the size of one person. “You won't get soil compaction and petrol is no longer required as the system is powered by electricity. The tension of the cables means that a bird or the wind cannot disrupt the system”, added Blanchet. As the start-up was initially designed for field crop farming, the size of vineyard plots is not an obstacle either.

 

 

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