NIKO Maschinenbau and Robot Makers GmbH present forward-looking technology

In the course of Intervitis, Interfructa, Hortitechnica, our partner NIKO Maschinenbau is presenting a vineyard crawler, which is able to complete several tasks independently. In contrast to other systems on the market, the machine doesn’t use the high-precision RTK-GPS. Most of the data used for navigation is provided by the “eyes” of the vehicle, so-called ambient environmental sensors. In addition to independently running the rows in wine and fruit cultivation, the vehicle is also able to turn independently at the row exit and enter the next row. This allows complete plantations to be processed autonomously.

The vineyard crawler while working in a vineyard

The vineyard crawler while working in a vineyard

The fully hydraulic crawler with a total weight of 950kg, gets its intelligence by modules of the Robot Makers development platform. Besides the Robot Makers Software Platform, that provides well-proven software-packages with basic functionalities like collision avoidance and the navigation based on local structures, the Generic Control Box comes into action. The Generic Control Box enables an easy and cost-effective integration on the vehicle of our partner.

By eliminating the necessity of the highly accurate RTK-GPS signal, the system achieves greater robustness against signal fluctuations caused by shading (e.g. because of trees or precipices) and weather phenomena. In addition, the position offset arising by the slippage of the crawler while the transposition maneuver can be counterbalanced. This offset forces today’s systems, which are based on precisely predefined tracks, to come to a standstill.

Intervitis, Interfructa, Hortitechnica provides information on all areas of innovation from the cultivation to the marketing of wine, juice and special cultures and will take place from 27th to 30th November 2016 at the exhibition grounds in Stuttgart. Our partner company NIKO Maschinenbau is located in Hall 1, Stand 1E41 and is looking forward to your visit.

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