Friday, 02 July 2021 12:55

Claas buys into bots

Written by  Mark Daniel

German harvesting specialist and tractor manufacturer Claas has acquired a minority shareholding in Dutch start-up company AgXeed, the developer of the autonomous AgBot vehicle.

The move is described by Claas as a "win-win" situation. This is because the Dutch technology is at an advanced stage and the overall aim of the joint venture is said to be further development and commercialisation of such machines.

At this stage, AgXeed is testing several 156hp diesel/electric, rubber tracked machines. These offer a low unballasted weight of around six tonnes, with the ability to lift eight tonnes, alongside the convenience of hydraulically adjustable track widths.

Alongside belt options, ranging from 300 to 910mm widths, there will also be the option of an electrically-driven PTO system, which is independent of the engine driven by external high-voltage connectors for powering electrically driven implements of the future.

Machine management includes hazard and obstacles detection, with guidance delivered by a RTK GPS system.

"Our involvement provides Claas with access to innovative technology and complements our existing expertise in robotics and autonomy," says Thomas Bock, chief executive of the Claas Group. "In turn, AgXeed will benefit from our expertise in areas such as data transfer, system interfaces and drivetrain solutions."

AgBot is expected to be launched during 2022.

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