Yanmar testing autonomous vineyard robot
By Chad Elmore12 October 2021
Company said YV01 is an autonomous spraying robot that can “transform the way vineyards operate.”
Yanmar has introduced a vineyard robot that it said offers a host of benefits for wine growing operations of all sizes including enhanced safety, productivity, cost reductions and versatility.
The company said YV01 is an autonomous spraying robot “which can transform the way vineyards operate” and is backed by Yanmar. It was designed at the R&D center in Maibara, Japan, and all the components were locally sourced through the company’s supply chain. Final production is completed in-house.
In Europe, the owners will be supported by the company’s European parts distribution center in the Netherlands to help keep machine downtime is kept to a minimum.
Due to its lightweight and compact dimensions YV01 can climb and descend slopes of up to 45% and won’t compress soils in any weather conditions. Furthermore, it is easily transportable on a small truck or trailer, while carrying 200 L of spraying fluids.
Using an electrostatic spraying system, YV01 ensures that vines are precisely sprayed with the right amount of droplets so that fewer chemicals are applied. Yanmar said the process produces a fine stream of electrically charged spray droplets which are attracted to the plant leaves so that all surfaces are treated and excess spray is reduced to a minimum.
The sprayer uses GPS RTK navigation to work without an operator.
“YV01 offers cutting-edge autonomous technology and is flexible, lightweight and environmentally-friendly as it ensures highly accurate spraying on vines,” said Yanmar Europe President Peter Aarsen. “It can be safely and simply operated by a nearby supervisor, and it is ideally suited for vineyards which have narrow pathways and where the vines are not tall. Especially suitable for small wine trees, YV01 is also a perfect supplement to larger machinery which may be used on the bigger wine producing establishments.”
“Through a combination of cost-savings, increased productivity and escalated workplace safety, YV01 can transform vineyard operations for both small and large-scale growers by easing workloads and reducing costs.”
Powered by a Honda IGX 800 gasoline engine rated 27 hp, YV01 is entering a testing and evaluation phase.
Yanmar said there will be an announcement later about the start of sales in 2022.