Agovor’s GOVOR: Next-Gen Robot Tractor Aims to Transform Farming

New Zealand-based Agovor has unveiled its latest innovation in agricultural technology: an autonomous lightweight electric tractor named GOVOR. This compact robotic tractor is designed to automate laborious outdoor tasks for row-based and specialty crops, promising to revolutionize the way growers manage their fields.

GOVOR is engineered for autonomous towing and comes equipped with a variety of capabilities including spraying, mowing, data collection, and crop scouting. By integrating advanced software with RTK-GPS, sensors, and cameras, the robot can navigate and perform tasks with high precision, requiring minimal human supervision. This technological prowess significantly reduces labor costs, soil compaction, and enhances both safety and efficiency on the farm.

The tractor, now in its fourth generation, weighs a mere 50 kilograms and features an electric motor with direct drive transmission. Despite its lightweight design, GOVOR can tow up to 600 kilograms. Its lithium batteries provide a 12-hour range, enabling it to work autonomously around the clock.

Agovor offers GOVOR on a lease basis, with prices starting at US $1,100 per month. This makes the technology accessible to a wide range of growers, from small-scale operations to large agricultural enterprises. The company plans to collaborate with industry partners to expand its range of smart trailer attachments, further enhancing the robot’s versatility.

Richard Beaumont, Founder and Director of Agovor, highlights the benefits of the tractor’s lightweight design. “The manoeuvrability is great,” he says. “And because it is lightweight, two people can lift it, and it probably fits in the back of a car. There is hardly any effect on soil compaction. And – what also comes with that – is that you can get back on the land sooner after a weather event.”

GOVOR’s design also allows for the use of multiple units in a fleet, offering a robust solution to potential mechanical failures. “If you have ten of them and – for whatever reason – one breaks down, you are still running at 90 percent,” Beaumont explains. “And since it’s so small, we can easily send you another one. There’s no extra setup. You just turn it on, and away you go. Uptime is a big issue for farmers.”

The company’s focus on developing a wider ecosystem of smart trailer attachments is already bearing fruit. One of the attachments designed for the tractor is a CDA sprayer, which provides an eight-hour run time before needing a refill. Agovor has also developed a prototype for an electric mower, with more innovations expected as they continue to collaborate with industry partners.

Beaumont emphasizes that GOVOR is particularly beneficial for small growers who are often underserved by existing agricultural technology. “With a unit of this size, we can service a small grower, but also a large grower. We can run them in a fleet. There are a lot of manual tasks that we can do autonomously. You need fewer people, but there’s also an increasing number of people that knows how to use a smartphone and a diminishing number of people that knows how to operate a tractor.”

GOVOR’s ability to cover approximately two hectares per hour for tasks like vineyard spraying, combined with its low operational costs, positions it as a game-changer in the agricultural sector. The robot’s front and rear cameras allow growers to monitor its progress via a livestream, adding an extra layer of convenience and oversight.

As Agovor continues to innovate and expand its product offerings, the introduction of GOVOR marks a significant step forward in the automation of farming tasks, promising to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and make farming more sustainable for future generations.

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