Same Deutz-Fahr (SDF) has announced it has taken a majority stake in VitiBot, a French robotics startup specialising in autonomous vehicles for vineyard care.
Together the two companies foresee continuous growth in the sector and plan to develop a range of unmanned precision farming solutions to cater for the needs of vineyard growers. This move is seen by SDF as an opportunity to grow its position within the sector.
VitiBot is based in Reims in the heart of the champagne region and produces a 100% electric autonomous straddle tractor named the Bakus.
The company was founded in 2016 by father and son duo Dominique and Cedric Bache. The Bakus autonomous straddle tractor is the result of five years of research and has been developed by a team of young engineers.
SDF is already involved in the sector, producing harvesting and spraying equipment for the vineyard market through its Grégoire brand.
It is believed that VitiBot will be run in a similar fashion and remain independent within the group.
At the moment the Bakus tool carrier is available in two versions, an S model and an L model.
The Bakus S is the smaller of the two and is designed to straddle vines 1.75m high and 0.6m wide while the Bakus S is capable of vines 2.20m high x 0.80m wide.
The Bakus S has an unladen weight of 2,350kg while the L version weighs 50kg more at 2,400kg.
Both machines work off RTK GPS signals and offer a working range of 10 hours on one single charge.
The Bakus tool carriers can be equipped with a range of tools including mowers, sprayer and mechanical weeders.