Some news from the farms! Australian startup Thingc Robotics has begun field trials of what is its first commercial agricultural robot. Or rather, a complete electric robotic platform for farmers.
Or as founder Cameron Leeson likes to call, a workforce on demand.
The Melbourne based startup is currently raising funds, but is also offering participation in field trials for early customers. They built their first prototype in early 2018, which on first look appears like a couple of bicycles strapped together.
But this lightweight platform offers so much more in terms of usability and flexibility — including the ability to add different technologies that help with mowing, spraying, and mechanical weeding.
Essentially, these are plug and play components.
As Cameron calls it:
“People no longer have to sit on tractors all day. Autonomous vehicles can carry out all sorts of tasks. And once you teach a robot to do something well, you don’t have to do that with other robots. You just replicate it. And a robot is very reliable. It never gets sick and keeps on going.”
More importantly, the system has been designed to be easily repairable. In case of failure, operators can just pull out that component and plug in a new one.
Farmers will have the ability to easily change tools on the robotic platform, while the machine itself will be updatable. This means, they will be able to run multiple robots to help with tasks around the farm, and all these robots can be managed by one person.
Thingc hopes to have the funding needed within 6 months, and the first robots in trials running within this timeframe as well.