Autonomous orchard spraying

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The newly unveiled machine includes a spot spraying weed detection system that identifies chlorophyll in the weeds and only sprays where they are detected. This detection technology significantly reduces the overall application amount used, resulting in up to 90% savings in materials depending on weed pressure. It also leads to decreased operating costs, reduced material drift, increased sustainability, and contributes to enhanced employee safety.

“We have been asked about making GUSS electric. An electric herbicide sprayer made the most sense to us, given that the battery life can last an entire shift while performing this critical orchard task. Combining the battery’s electric benefits of low operating costs and zero tailpipe emissions with spot spraying weed detection technology makes Electric GUSS a winner,” said Gary Thompson, COO at GUSS Automation.

The Electric GUSS utilizes Kriesel batteries that run and spray for a full shift when fully charged. Using a combination of GPS, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and proprietary technology for accurate coverage, a single employee can operate and monitor up to eight GUSS machines from the safety of their vehicle using a laptop computer, reducing the opportunity for operator exposure. The autonomous capability also includes multiple safety features to avoid hazards and automatically pauses the spray operation when individuals are in close proximity.

The sprayer measures 23’6″ (7 meters) long, 6’4″ (2 meters) tall and with an operational width of 8’4″-19′ wide (2.60 – 5.80 meters). The hydraulic-controlled height-adjustable spray booms accommodate 18′-22′ (5.50 – 6.70 meters) row spacing that can be tilted upward for berm spraying. The design also incorporates breakaway booms to help prevent damage to trees and crops during operator use.

Orchard GUSS is available through select John Deere dealer locations across North America and Australia.

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