They say this robot will prune as well as a winegrower

Friday April 16 2021 by Vitisphere

 After three years of intense work, the winery was delighted this winter to mount its autonomous unit on a New Holland machine, which will handle distribution. Next year, 100 hectares will be pruned using R2T2. After three years of intense work, the winery was delighted this winter to mount its autonomous unit on a New Holland machine, which will handle distribution. Next year, 100 hectares will be pruned using R2T2. - Photo credit : Vinovalie

The R2T2 project, endorsed by Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation and granted funding of 3 million euros, has just won the Agri Sud-Ouest high school students’ award. “R2T2” stands for “vine pruning robot”, explained Pauline Lacapelle, head of R&D at the Vinovalie group of co-operative wineries in Fronton, Gaillac and Cahors, which has been managing the project since 2017.

Some vines are already pruned mechanically. We wanted to go a stage further by creating a robot that works as well as people and not just on bush vines. It analyses the structure of each vine, leaves the right number of buds and can prune without damaging the vines, provided they are suitable, in particular by ensuring that they are not too low”, added Lacapelle.

R2T2 should be able to prune up to 1.5 hectares of vines per day. The aim is to make the task less strenuous, and the job of winegrower more attractive. “Pruning vines for four months in the middle of winter is not something our 400 winegrowers or future generations yearn for”, admitted Jean-Luc Constans, chairman of Vinovalie.

 

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