Naïo Technologies, based in Toulouse, France, has worked with about 20 winegrowers for three years to add more capability to a robotic weeder named Ted. It’s now ready for mass production.
Ted is now equipped with a tool-holder in the middle, boasting a parallelogram lift. A wide array of mechanical tools can be hitched onto a multi-purpose pole, and two tools can be combined at the same time. With its robust frame, increased engine power and speed ranging up to three miles/h, its hauling capacity in sloped vineyards was boosted.
Marie-Luce Fournié, COO of Naïo Technologies, says it still weighs much less than standard tractors and high-clearance machines. Ted’s new modular arches mean it can adapt to various vineyard typologies, narrow or high vines, for example.
The concept and design of the platform were thought out while maximising the machine’s safety features such as slowing down before an obstacle and halting immediately if touched. As well, a remote operational monitoring system was installed - thus ensuring maximum security.
To date, nearly 160 of Naïo robots are in circulation worldwide, including Oz, designed for diversified market gardeners, Dino for weeding mound-grown vegetables and Ted, for wine growing.
Source: Naïo Technologies September 28, 2020 news release