Mackane Vogel here, in for Noah Newman. I had the chance to attend the FIRA USA Conference in Salinas, Calif. last week, and I got to see lots of new ag technology on display. Here is Guilherme Guiné, chief sustainability officer at Solinftec, explaining some of the key features of the company’s “Solix Hunter.”
“We are showing here the Solix, this is the version we are presenting here at FIRA. This robot is a target spraying robot plus a bug zapper. We call it a hunter. This is the functionality we are using at night. During the day we are doing the spot spray for weeds, and during the night we are finding the bugs and trying to kill them. This robot is fully autonomous, working by solar panels and batteries. We can run all day and all night with the batteries. You don’t need to recharge it or to change the battery. It’s fully autonomous, worked by RHK antennas on top of it and some cameras to identify when we miss the signal. This robot was actually running outside during the summer, and we brought it here to show a real robot, not just a prototype or something different than that. We are showing the real one.”
“We have on top here 4 solar panels, and those solar panels are providing the energy we need. And at the bottom there we have a battery, and this battery provides the energy for the night. We have 2 tanks on the robot. With that we can cover close to 60 acres. Those things have 40 gallons of capacity.”
“We did this season the proof of concept, and we are sold out right now for the next season. We will have close to 100 running, some here in the U.S. and some in Brazil and Canada. We are splitting those units for next year.”
According to the company, in just its first commercial year, American producers who invested in the Solix Hunter recorded a 95% reduction in the volume of herbicides applied.