Robots are taking over the vineyard
Château Clerc Milon, has tested a new robotic weeder known as TED, developed by Naio Technologies. The robot has been designed to weed the vines. For some organic producers mechanical weeding is one way of minimising chemicals in the soil. It can be done by hand or by tractor. The TED robot is an automomous robot that straddles over the vine, weeding both sides at the same time. It is GPS guided but uses a camera and laser to assist. Being battery powered it has 8 to 10 hours a day. At a sedate 4km/hr it can cover 5 to 6 hectares per day, mechanical weeding, mowing and thinning.
We are about to get a plethora of single activity robots that can work autonomously. Many of these robots are adding self-guided controls to activities that where historically done by an operator and a tractor. As things evolve the autonomous tractors will be able to do more and more.