Fendt has just revealed it is coming to the end of an 18-month research project to look at the use of autonomous robots on farms. Working together with the German University of Ulm, the EU-sponsored project, which started in May 2015, studies satellite-supported maize drilling by field robots. Known as project MARS (Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarms), the crop is drilled by small cloud-controlled, lightweight electrically-powered autonomous vehicles. Benefits, says Fendt, include less soil damage, reduced CO2, quiet operation and robots can be used 24/7. Brought to a field using a so-called ‘logistics unit’, which also functions as a battery charger and also carry’s seed, each robot is started using the MARS app. The interface allows the desired field, seeds, drilling pattern and density as well as the number of robots can be selected, and the exact placement of each individual seed can be documented and saved in the cloud. Subsequent cultivation work can then be executed precisely, says Fendt, using less inputs. Fendt reckons field robotic systems are a very attractive alternative for the farmer of the future. The project is due to end sometime this autumn when hopefully there will be lots on interesting results and even a few action pictures of some of the robots.