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SwarmFarm Robotics Launches “Dock and Refill”: Ushering in the Next Era of Agricultural Autonomy
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Sep 18, 2023, 1:36 PM ET
SwarmFarm's Autonomous 'Dock and Refill' Ushers in a New Level of Farm Efficiency.
More than 50 years ago, Abraham Maslow famously said, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." The SwarmFarm team believes this rings true in today’s agricultural landscape, where farm equipment, by design, dictates the management processes.
"Many people see the issue of farm equipment, like tractors, planters and harvesters getting bigger and bigger and the inflexibility to customize management practices to meet the needs of local soil types and farming systems,” said Andrew Bate, CEO of SwarmFarm Robotics. “The difference with us is that we’ve done something to address that problem.”
A recent study published by researchers from Ohio State University highlighted that heavy machinery has led to soil compaction, causing a decrease in yields in specific fields by up to 50 percent. Further research suggests that the combined effects of compaction and erosion could reduce global crop yields by around 20 percent.
Historically, smaller agricultural equipment has struggled to match the productivity levels of their larger counterparts. This disparity often rendered them less preferable despite their potential for more precision and reduced impact on the soil.
“Dock and Refill changes everything for us and the farmers who share our vision for the future of farm equipment,” said Bate. “This functionality helps us to achieve our original mission of enabling a new farming system where productivity is not directly tied to equipment size.”
What This Breakthrough Means for Farmers:
1. Increased Productivity: Small and lightweight farming machinery are no longer limited by payload capacity. Continuous operation is now a reality without the need for manual refilling or downtime.
2. Tailored Management Solutions: SwarmBots can be integrated with advanced agronomic tools and farming technology to ensure a tailored solution for each farm.
3. Sustainable Farming: Reducing soil compaction and over-reliance on synthetic pesticides and fertaliser, the technology promotes an eco-friendly approach to modern agriculture.
4. Empowering Farmers: With over 2 million acres covered and an estimated 2.6 million tons of pesticide inputs reduced, SwarmBots have proven their value on farms across Australia.
"SwarmFarm Robotics was started to bridge the gap between our hardworking farmers and cutting-edge agtech," Bate shared. "Our SwarmBots champion a proactive and cohesive approach to challenges. With 'dock and refill,' we’re setting the pace for what's next in agriculture."
“My Dad Used to Drive a Tractor”
Founded in 2015 near Emerald, Queensland, SwarmFarm Robotics is pioneering the development and use of intelligent robotics in Australian agriculture through Integrated Autonomy. This entirely new approach to autonomy on-farm provides more than another driverless system or a niche robotics solution; Integrated Autonomy puts the farmer’s needs first and creates a technology ecosystem around them to help save time, resources, and energy while optimizing for profitable and sustainable growth.
We have successfully covered 2.2 million commercial acres, 115,000 hours of operation, and reduced pesticide inputs by an estimated 2 million litres with our autonomous robots.
Learn more about SwarmFarm here.
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