Robot to Assist in Pasture Management06 November 2013
NEW ZEALAND – Pasture work could be made simpler by a paddock robot built by leading experts at AgResearch New Zealand.
Agri-rover, a small, fully autonomous vehicle, is available to work on the farm day and night as an all-weather vehicle, scouring pasture to assess for quality, compaction and much more.
Dr Andrew Manderson, project leader, said great progress has been seen in agri-rover since the project commence last year.
“This works in all weather, all of the time, quietly going about its tasks without creating extra jobs for the farmer,” said Dr Manderson. “It’s designed to be easy to operate, and will report results as needed to a cell phone or computer.”
Furthermore, Dr Manderson stressed the item was made with cost in mind.
“Always in the back of our mind was keeping it affordable, which is often a sticking point with new farm technologies.”
AgResearch hopes that rover that can help production and reduce environmental impacts. This is to be done by communicating readings to the farm office.
Agri-rover is battery and solar powered running on 240v gear motors
“First and foremost is to equip the rover for pasture measurement, to provide real-time feedback on paddock covers, feed wedges, and possibly even pasture quality,” said Dr Manderson. “This is all about quick, accurate information for real-time decision making, without having to spend any time collecting it.
“At the same time we’re looking to measure soil properties for precision fertiliser application, mapping compaction zones, and creating soils maps for variable-rate irrigation. We are developing the rover to do as many tasks as possible to make it as useful as possible.”
Farmers are being consulted as to where the rover could be useful onfarm.
TheCattleSite News Desk