Dutch-firm Schuitemaker is building the first five commercial versions of its Innovado feed robot. First previewed in prototype-form as a remote-controlled vehicle at the German EuroTier livestock machinery show in 2008, a second fully-automatic prototype was on display at the same show in 2014. The technique has further been perfected during the last two winters, and the commercial version, which has an 8cu.m. tub (max 2.1-tonne capacity), operates as a stand-alone system with no need for any dedicated feed bunkers. The dedicated milling head capable of handling all feedstuffs and tackling 4.8m-high silage clamps. In the engine department, the previous 80hp Deutz engine has been ditched for a 75hp JCB block (no Ad Blue), and we understand Schuitemaker is looking into the possibility of an electrically-driven version.  In the meantime, the 450-litre capacity diesel tank is claimed to be sufficient for a week. Capable of feeding up to 750 animals, and requiring a feed passageway of at least 4.25m-wide, the machine is guided around the farm by a RTK-GPS system from Trimble, and in feed passageways by transponders in the ground. When the Dutch company first previewed the machine in 2008 it was confident of developing a complete system for under €200,000. The actual price of the Innovado is €246,500 (includes 600m of sensors in the concrete, safety rails/guards, software, etc). By Steven Vale