Already at a highly developed stage, the project to see if it is possible to get an existing sprayer to work as a robot began in 2017. Powered by an on-board engine of what we believe to be several hundred HP, the goal is to develop a system whereby the sprayer can work unassisted in a field.
One of the main challenges are the different rules regarding autonomous vehicles, which vary from country to country. Also, transporting the autonomous sprayer between fields is an issue. Could it be that the company is looking to use the Shuttle, a new truck-mounted concept to reduce the downtime when filling high-capacity drill hoppers and sprayer tanks, to transport the autonomous sprayer?
We spotted this Shuttle at Horsch HQ at Schwandorf in Germany, recently. The Fliegl trailer would appear ideal to move an four-wheeled autonomous sprayer between fields. The Shuttle’s 8,000-litre tank would quickly replenish the autonomous sprayer leaving the vehicle to work unassisted while the truck driver travels back to the farm for a top up.
We will have to wait and see. The project continues.