Fede KFAST sprays autonomously

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The KFAST robot concept autonomously applies phytosanitary treatments, also providing the option to be guided by remote control. Its structural design and newly developed 4×4 traction ensure fluid movement, precision in turning, and accurate positioning in the narrowest rows of specialty crop fields. This large-capacity autonomous sprayer can be equipped with various air groups to fulfil the specific requirements of the plantations.

Ongoing treatments are monitored and displayed on the Specialty Crops Platform (SCP), Fede’s digital agronomic management tool. In addition, KFAST sends alerts in case of incident or parameter out of range, including the detection of empty spraying and diesel tank to autonomously return to the station for refilling. Once the treatment is completed, all the data is registered, thus providing real traceability and the required information to generate the digital farm book.

KFAST will substantially increase the productivity and efficiency of work in the orchard, since a single operator can manage four robots at a time and enables to carry out nighttime tasks. Thus, aims to be a solution to the lack of labour problem, as well and the generational renewal, in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, it improves the occupational safety and health by eliminating the risks of accidents and drastically reducing occupational exposure to pesticides.

Once the work order is received, Fede’s autonomous sprayer concept goes to the assigned row to start the treatment. KFAST, equipped with the AIs system, is able to perform high-precision treatments through image capture and AI processing. The robot adapts the spraying in real time with individualized control of the nozzles to adjust the application tree by tree while maintaining a constant pressure and application flow in each open nozzle with a homogeneous distribution and deposition of the treatment.

KFAST concept stands out for its remarkable reduction in crop protection agent use and soil degradation, both key objectives in the EU Green Deal. The system registers savings in the use of agents of up to 40%, according to the field tests results carried out within the LIFE-AIs project, which increase significantly when carrying out treatments based on the prescription of variable application maps (VRA). At the same time, it relieves soil compaction by moving only 4 wheels always following the same axis, reducing the number of tons supported by the soil and minimizing displacements.

Additionally, the indicators generated by KFAST image capture offer updated data on the state of the orchard, valuable information that can be used by third parties to offer their agronomic services. KFAST is distinguished for being an open system that allows the integration a wide range of service providers such as pest detection, yield prediction, farm management information systems, among others.

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