Weeding, harvesting, picking, carrying,… Robots are today’s answer to many challenges facing agriculture. And they will show up this fall in Salinas for the second edition of FIRA USA. From September 19 to 21, the Salinas Sports Complex, home of the famous California Rodeo Salinas, will be the place to discover the autonomous farming solutions in action. During three days, expo, demos, pitch sessions and even a robot parade will take place in the Salad Bowl of the World. Please note that the traveling event through California FIRA USA not only focuses on vegetables: trees and vineyards are also at the heart of the environmental and labor issues that agriculture must address… just like FIRA USA! For this reason, Malcolm Media is partnering with FIRA-USA, and California Ag Network, California Fruit & Vegetable, Pacific Nut Producer, and American Vineyard Magazines are among the proud sponsors of this special event, so be sure to come see us there.
25+ robots for farming autonomously
FIRA’s organizers, French association GOFAR, Western Growers and University of California ANR/The VINE announce that already 25 robots have signed up for FIRA USA 2023.
“Even if FIRA USA 2022 in Fresno was already a success, this year marks a real turn: four months before the event, we already confirmed 25 robots – and it’s just the beginning!”notes Maialen Cazenave, co-director in charge of the partnerships at GOFAR. “Coming from California, other states in the US, and even from Europe, we expect another 10 to 20 robots to partner with us – and we have space to welcome them both on the exhibition area and on the demo zones (on vegetables, fruits, orchards, and vineyards)”.
From weed control to fruits picking, robots main functions at FIRA USA
Here is the list of the 25 robots from the companies that already confirmed their participation in FIRA USA 2023:
- ● Bluewhite (USA – California): Bluewhite’s Pathfinder transforms any brand of existing orchard or vineyard tractor into a fully autonomous fleet, capable of executing multiple tasks, such as spraying, herbicide, discing, mowing, or harvesting, with high precision and operating efficiency.
- ● Naïo Technologies (France and USA – California): Oz, Ted, Orio and Jo: light electric and autonomous ag. robots to offer a sustainable alternative to the use of herbicides that can interface with smart implements to offer a high precision weeding, seeding, mowing and a very precise guidance of the implements.
- ● Carbon Robotics (USA – California): high-precision LaserWeederTM leverages sophisticated AI deep learning technology, computer vision, robotics, and lasers.
- ● Stout Industrials (USA – California): the Stout Smart Cultivator is a software-defined, tractor-drawn implement that uses machine vision and artificial intelligence to cultivate and weed fields using mechanical blades.
- ● Agtonomy (USA): A fully electric, reference tractor that executes labor-intensive field missions such as mowing, spraying, transport, and weeding, in the toughest terrain.
- ● Ecorobotix (Switzerland): ARA is a high-precision sprayer developed by Ecorobotix, which enables the ultra-targeted application of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides or fertilizers, reducing the use of them up to 95%.
- ● Solinftec (Brazil): scouting robot that scans the crops and record their growth rates, plant health the prevalence of any weeds, suited for farms around 500 acres and works with several types of row crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, canola and many others.
- ● Nexus Robotics (Canada): weeding and scouting robot that provides farmers with real-time information about the size and health of their crops.
- ● Verdant Robotics (USA – California): multi-action, autonomous farm robot capable of millimeter-accurate spraying, laser weeding, and AI-based digital crop modeling.
- ● GUSS Automation (USA – California): GUSS autonomous sprayers provide a solution to labor challenges while increasing efficiency, precision and safety in orchards, vineyards, and high-density orchards.
- ● SeedSpider (USA – California): the WeedSpider can be configured to efficiently and accurately mechanically weed, mechanically thin, or precision spray commercial vegetable crops.
- ● Farm-ng (USA – California): Amiga is a modular, all-electric micro-tractor that can turn-in-place, haul, lift, carry tools, cultivate, and is easy to adapt to any farm’s cropping systems and cultural practices.
- ● Monarch Tractor (USA – California): fully electric, driver-optimal, smart Tractor platform built to empower farmers by enabling profitable implementation of sustainable and organic practices.● Mantis Ag Technologies (USA – California): from thinners to sprayers and cultivators, the line of products turns intelligence, automation and data into smart, practical solutions for growers.● Burro (USA – California): Burros use computer vision, high precision GPS, and AI to follow people to navigate autonomously from A to B while carrying various payloads.● Robotics Plus (New Zealand): modular platform, designed to accommodate swappable attachments for spraying – mowing, trimming and weed control under development.● Aigen (USA – Washington) : robotics platform powered by the sun, directly. Like a plant! We aim for affordability and scale, while others aim for high profit margins. We start with the farmer first, and build our platform from there.
● EDETE (Israel): end-to-end artificial pollination service comprising 2 steps that mimics the natural pollination process: 1. collecting and 2. distributing pollen.
● K.U.L.T. (Germany): agricultural machines for soil cultivation and weeding solutions for vegetable production, field crops, ornamental production, herbs, grassland, vineyards, orchards,…
● Sabanto (USA – Iowa): aftermarket autonomy system installed on tractors.
The US largest in-field demo zone for robots
FIRA USA will host the largest demo zone of farming robots.
Managed by Triangle Farms, Pacific Ag Rentals and the University of California, the crops will be available for the robots to show their functions on vegetables, fruits, orchards and vineyards.
To exhibit and/or make a robot demos, manufacturers can contact Maialen Cazenave:
Registrations to FIRA USA 2023 are open, please visit: www.fira-usa.com
The GOFAR non-profit organization undertakes to promote and develop the agricultural robotics sector at international level. Like RobAgri, whose objective is to facilitate the technical development of agricultural robots, GOFAR meets the increasing need for visibility and networking of the agricultural robotics sector.
About Western Growers
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Our members and their workers provide over half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America’s fresh organic produce. Some members also farm throughout the U.S. and in other countries so people have year-round access to nutritious food. For generations, we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers.
About The Vine, UC ANR
The VINE, an initiative of University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, is California’s agriculture, food, and biotech innovation network. Our mission is to harness the power of open innovation to help industries and entrepreneurs grow and scale globally while catalyzing technology innovation and commercialization for productive, sustainable, and equitable food systems.
We connect entrepreneurs to a vast network of public and private sector resources, build collaborations that accelerate technology solutions to solve industry challenges, and grow regional capacity to support global innovation as an economic opportunity.