FarmDroid FD20

Introduction

The seeding & weeding robot

FarmDroid FD20 was developed with one specific aim; to manage weed control more effectively and sustainably, thereby using technology for the greater good of farmers and planet earth!

It is an innovative field robot that reduces the cost of drilling and weeding in an environmentally friendly way - it is energy independent, powered by solar panels and is CO2 neutral.  It uses high precision GPS seeding to pin point the position of each seed, making weeding possible both between rows as well as between plants in the row.

The automatic, lightweight, field robot automates sowing and weed removal without causing structural damage to the soil.  Headlands and wheelings are relegated to the past and no longer cause reduction in yields.

This revolution in weed management makes investing in a FarmDroid an attractive business case with a return on investment down to as little as two years.

 

FarmDroid FD20 Features

Solar powered - green technology

The sun is the main source of life on earth, and the only source of energy for the FarmDroid, making it energy independent.  The FarmDroid does not require external charging.

The four solar panels deliver up to 1.6kWh, equivalent to 20 kWh per day and power the batteries for the electrical motors.  They generate enough power for 18-24 hours of daily operation, depending on weather and working conditions.

The drive train consists of two electric motors, one for each back wheel, producing a total of 800w.  This drives the FD20 up to 950m per hour and makes it capable of seeding or weeding up to 6ha (approx. 15 acres) per day.

There are no emissions, meaning a FarmDroid operates in a completely CO2-neutral way.

 

 

 

Fully automatic - GPS technology

FarmDroid FD20 knows the position of every single plant.  The robot places each seed in a perfect pattern and knows where each seed is located.  This is all made possible through the use of high-precision GPS technology.  The FarmDroid FD20 takes care of sowing and subsequent weeding without need of monitoring.

Row distance, plant distance, sowing depth, speed, and tolerances can all be adjusted to fit various crops, various types of soil, and the farmer’s individual wishes. FarmDroid FD20 automatically stops and notifies the farmer if anything deviates from the settings.

FD20 is developed to be able to handle various crops, and therefore you can use the same machine for e.g. sugar beets and onions. So far, we have experience with sugar beets, onions, spinach, kale, flower seeds, and rapeseed, and more crops are added continuously. Contact FarmDroid to hear more about the possibilities and if you have a crop that you consider using an FD20 for.

Easy to set up

FarmDroid FD20 performs fully automatic sowing and weeding of crops – both between rows and in the row itself. From the sowing process, FD20 knows the position of every seed and therefore knows where it subsequently must clean – and just as importantly: where not to clean. It operates fully automatically and does not need monitoring. FarmDroid FD20 stops by itself and sends an email to the farmer in case of any stops or deviations, and this ensures the farmer that the work is done correctly.

Set up of the robot is simple:

  1. At setup, the field’s corner points are marked. Any possible obstacles such as trees, power poles etc. are also marked.
  2. Choose the desired number of headlands.
  3. Choose sowing distance (distance between the crops in the row) and set the sowing depth.
  4. Press ”START”.

 

Areas for ecological agriculture rise year by year and simultaneously the focus on reducing pesticides in conventional farming increases. Therefore, there is a continuously increasing focus on and need for mechanical weed control in agriculture.

FarmDroid FD20 is developed with a focus on automatizing mechanical weed control between the rows and in the row itself. This is, in ecological agriculture, most often done through tiring and costly manual labor. The labor costs per hectare are large, the work is exhausting, and a general lack of manual work force in agriculture makes it difficult for farmers to produce economically sustainable crops.

 

Precision seeding unit

The seeding unit comprises a six-litre hopper, metering unit and double-disc coulter, designed to plant to up to 5cm depth into a fine tilth.

The seeding disc drops the seed into the coulter shoe and the seed valve opens, to drop it into the soil, at precisely the right moment so that the correct spacing for the desired plant population is achieved. This is pre-determined so that the FarmDroid knows where every seed is placed.

A seed light beam sensor in the unit sends an alert, should an alarm be triggered, to the FarmDroid app on the customer’s mobile phone/device.

Precise weeding ensures an increased yield

Inter and intra-row weeding! Precise weeding both between the rows and within the rows between the crops ensures that the crops have optimal growth conditions without having to compete with weeds for nutrition and sunlight.

Organic growers across northern Europe – and in the UK – have seen some fairly dramatic results where they’re using the FarmDroid. They’re reporting increases in beet yields of 40-60% over tractor-hoed crops and are putting this down to the combination of precise seed placement and intra-row weed control making for uniform crop development.

Combined with the savings in herbicides, fuel, labour, and machinery costs (depreciation, maintenance, tyres, capital tie-up, etc…) – the financial argument for FarmDroid is a strong one, especially as the purchase price and ongoing running costs are a fraction of those associated with the traditional machinery used to do the job.

Blind weeding

Since FarmDroid FD20 uses high-precision GPS technology it does not depend on cameras or sensors for recognizing plants and weeds.  Precision during sowing ensures that the robot knows the exact position of every individual crop and therefore it can start the weeding process at a very early stage – even before the crop starts germinating! The process of blind weeding means that weeds do not compete with the crop from the get go.

Protect the soil's structure

Weighing just 800kg, FarmDroid has the lightest footprint possible - good for soil health and the bottom line - headlands aren’t run down with the result that yields are maintained across the entire cropped area.

Payback period as low as two years

FarmDroid FD20 helps eliminating or highly reducing the need for tiring and time-consuming manual weeding.  

With in-row and inter-row action it eliminates weeds both between the rows and between the crop plants. Capable of working right to up within 5mm of each seedling between the rows and 20mm in the row, the FarmDroid’s shares mean it does the complete job so there is no need for hand-rogueing of problem weeds like fan-hen (saving c.£250/ha).

Technical Specifications

FD20

 

 Model name  FD 20
 Working width   Up to 3 metre
 Recommended capacity  20 ha
 Crops  Sugar beets, beetroots, onions, spinach, rapeseed, and different herbs*
 Maximum speed highly automated mode  950 m/h
 Maximum speed manual Mode  1100 m/h
 Maximum recommended pitch for operation  8 % (Depending on soil type, wetness, and general properties)
 Maximum recommended roll for operation  5 % (Depending on soil type, wetness, and general properties)
 Seed box capacity  6 litres per seed box
 Row distance  Configurable between 22,5-75 cm
 Tool  Configurable with 4 to 8 active rows and 8 to 4 passive rows
 Robot weight  900 kg incl. batteries
 Max allowed extra weight  Max 4 x 35 kg
 Max total robot weight  1050 kg
 Operating temperature  0-40 celcius degree
 Storage temperature  -10 to 50 celcius degree
 Noise level  Below 60 dB (A)
 General expected lifetime  More than 10 years for main components following professional maintenance

 

*More crops will be added on a continuous basis

Downloads

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