Maintaining a vineyard is no easy task; there’s the weather, insects, plant disease, among all manner of things that can stimey production. Fortunately, technology has once more come to the rescue, and this time it’s via the Japanese manufacturing giant Yanmar who’ve created an autonomous robot called the YV01 that could revolutionise a significant part of the wine industry.
Robotic technology has made its presence felt over recent years in the agricultural industry, and now it’s extending its reach to encompass the wine industry. Yanmar, the Japanese group, founded over a century ago, is one of the leaders in this field, and they’ve unveiled what could be a gamechanger for winegrowers.
Their YV01 autonomous spraying robot is set to revolutionise the wine industry with the introduction of a whole host of benefits, among them helping to increase productivity, enhancing safety and what will come as excellent news for vineyards, a machine that will help to reduce costs.
What does the Yanmar YV01 do?
In simple terms, it’s a lightweight and compact automated robot equipped with an advanced spraying system that ensures that the vines are sprayed with the precise amount of droplets they need. As we’ve mentioned, it is a relatively lightweight machine, which is another of its big plus points.
According to Yanmar, the YV01 is light enough to avoid soil compression in any weather conditions and can climb and descend slopes of up to 45%. In addition to this, its compact size makes it easily transportable, allowing it to be moved on a small truck or trailer with a high payload of spraying fluids.
Yanmar Europe President Peter Aarsen said, “YV01 offers cutting-edge autonomous technology and is flexible, lightweight and environmentally-friendly as it ensures highly accurate spraying on vines.”
He added, “A nearby supervisor can safely and simply operate it, and it is ideally suited for vineyards which have narrow pathways and where the vines are not tall.
“Especially suitable for small wine trees, YV01 is also a perfect supplement to larger machinery which may be used on the bigger wine producing establishments.”
“Through a combination of cost-savings, increased productivity and escalated workplace safety, YV01 can transform vineyard operations for both small and large-scale growers by easing workloads and reducing costs.”
The spraying system uses an electrostatic mechanism, and it is said to be highly accurate, which should result in cleaner and healthier vines. The spaying process produces a fine stream of electrically charged droplets that are attracted to the plant leaves. This ensures that all surfaces, including the hidden ones, get treated, and any excess spray is kept to a minimum.
The YV01 uses a gasoline-powered engine and the robot is expected to be offered for sale in 2022. Currently, it is undergoing testing and evaluation. Given Yanmar’s reputation for cost-effective quality, this seems like a must-have (depending on the final price) for the wine industry, and we have no doubt that Yanmar will be adding even more to the robot’s capabilities over the forthcoming years.
Where you can see it
If you would like to get an early look at the YV01 autonomous spraying robot, it will be on show at the VITeff International Sparkling Wine Technology Exhibition, which is being held from 12th to the 15th of October in Epernay France.
Yanmar YV01 Technical Data
- Performance: Autonomous operation
- Weight: 1 ton
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Engine: Honda IGX 800, air-cooled
- Power: 27 horsepower
- Cylinders: 4
- Fuel tank: 19 litres
- Speed: 4 km per hour
- Tank for spraying: 200 litres
- Slope: Up to 45%
- Lateral slope: Up to 19%
Yanmar was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1912. In 1933 became the first company to produce a practical-sized diesel engine. It is the engine that has been the cornerstone of the company and today this huge group provides everything from energy systems to construction and marine equipment and agricultural machinery via seven continents.
The company’s mission statement is “providing sustainable solutions focused on the challenges customers face, in food production and harnessing power, thereby enriching people’s lives for all our tomorrows,” and they want to be a key component in creating a sustainable future through all their activities whether it be on land, at sea or in the city.
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