Future Live – Robotic weeding in the field
KWS tests weed robots in the field
Demands for more sustainability in agriculture and increasing regulations for crop protection: The agricultural industry is undergoing rapid change and presenting farmers with greater challenges. Against this background, KWS is tackling the future topics surrounding economical and sustainable crop production outside of its core business as well.
With the project “Future Live – Robotic weeding in the field” KWS tests together with the University of Göttingen and the German "Institut für Zuckerrübenforschung" (Institute for Sugarbeet Research) (IfZ) innovative solutions for combating weeds in sugarbeet farming under real field conditions. The tests will be separated in weeding challenges and practical experiences at farmers fields.
Aim of the project is:
to offer the manufacturers of these innovative robot systems a platform for their technology
to discuss innovative weeding solutions for sugarbeet
to identify application potentials for precision weeding technologies in sugarbeet
to test innovative technologies under real field conditions
With our project “Future Live – Robotic Weeding in the Field”, we want to offer manufacturers of these innovative robot systems a platform for their technology, because weed control with robots can make a significant contribution to a more sustainable agriculture.
We also want to promote the constructive dialogue, the exchange and cooperation between the robotics manufacturers, breeding and the farmers.
From March until June 2020, the following three robots from different manufacturers have been in use in organically and conventionally cultivated KWS sugarbeet farms in Wiebrechtshausen and Wetze, Germany:
Weeding Challenge 2021
Working width: 6-row
Speed: 0.5 km/h
Mode of operation: Robot. Precision sowing and hoeing in and between the rows. Recognition of the plants by the position of the sowing.
MWLP Weeder 2020
Working width: 6-row (expandable to 12/18)
Speed: 1.0-3.6 km/h, depending on the required regulation accuracy
Mode of operation: Tractor-mounted. Scanning of the plants spectrally + 3D by laser measuring system, removal of weeds of the weeds through row arrangement.
Working width: 3-12 rows
Speed: 2-5 km/h
Mode of operation: Tractor-mounted. Image recognition via camera + mechanical tools
Practical experiences at farmers fields 2021
In the Future Live project, KWS is addressing future issues relating to economical and sustainable sugarbeet cultivation in cooperation with partners. An innovative precision robot for weed control in sugarbeet will be used in this trial field from April to July 2021.
Aims of the project
- Testing of robots for weed control under real environmental conditions
- Identification of potentials and obstacles in the application of precision solutions for weed control in sugarbeet
- Exchange and discussion on innovative methods for weed control in sugarbeet
The project in the farmer's field is a collaboration between KWS, Cosun, Trantower Agrar GmbH and the manufacturer Farming Revolution. The trial takes place on a field of around 5 ha and is divided into different trial plots.
The results will be posted here as soon as they are available. More information about the robot you can find here or here. https://www.farming-revolution.com/