Croplands & Robotics Plus Partner

18 March 2024

Croplands and Robotics Plus partner to introduce Prospr to the Australian horticulture market. Robotics Plus’ Prospr, a multi-use autonomous vehicle for sustainable vineyard and orchard production, is now exclusively available from Croplands in Australia and New Zealand.

Croplands is now the exclusive Australasian distributor of Prospr, a robust autonomous, multi-use hybrid vehicle platform for horticulture crops designed by Robotics Plus. Prospr significantly increases efficiency across a variety of crop tasks and alleviates labour challenges, with capabilities including automated intelligent spraying.

The distribution agreement complements the existing technology partnership between the companies. Robotics Plus specialises in the design and build of robotics, AI, and autonomous machines, and Croplands has over 50 years of experience in world-leading spraying solutions.

Robotics Plus, Prospr (4 fan model)
Robotics Plus, Prospr (4 fan model)

Sean Mulvaney, General Manager, Croplands, says, “We are proud to partner with Robotics Plus on the design and manufacture of world-leading Quantum sprayer modules to integrate onto Prospr, the autonomous platform developed in New Zealand for horticulture markets. Our focus on bringing emerging solutions to the market continues with the opportunity to distribute Prospr and a range of sprayer attachments across Australia and New Zealand.”  

Steve Saunders, Co-founder and Chief Executive, Robotics Plus (left) and Sean Mulvaney, General Manager, Croplands (right) together with Prospr.

Steve Saunders, Co-founder, and Chief Executive, Robotics Plus, says, “We are all about partners with purpose to adapt and shift to solve problems. Agriculture is time-critical, and with Croplands, we are combining deep domain expertise to benefit growers.”

We have developed an automated, effective spraying and attachment solution with the smarts to not just do the job but to keep doing it better. Prospr customers in Australia will now benefit from Croplands’ large distributor network, spraying expertise and customer support.

Steve Saunders, Co-founder & Chief Executive, Robotics Plus

Robust and flexible to maximise utility
Prospr is a robust autonomous vehicle with all-day running that adapts to growers’ jobs while reducing emissions, inputs, and reliance on increasingly hard-to-find machine operators. Prospr’s unique modular architecture accommodates multiple interchangeable tools being developed, including newly released tower sprayers for grapes, apples, or tree crops. The right tool for the job is attached to the vehicle depending on the day’s work, allowing different tools for various crop types and applications year-round to maximise return on investment. Multiple Prospr machines can collaborate in a fleet to get the job done. The autonomous vehicle uses a combination of perception systems to sense the environment, putting valuable data and insights into the hands of growers. 

Fuel Efficiency  
Prospr has an all-electric drive system for superior torque and control. Its onboard power generation, with a Tier 4 diesel generator, allows the vehicle to operate for extended periods without charging or refuelling. Regenerative braking and high-capacity batteries extend range, while its intelligent all-wheel-drive system with independent wheel motors gives superior manoeuvrability, grip, and control.
Modular and adaptable  
Prospr has a small footprint and unique steering configuration, incorporating electric steering and independent motors. The vehicle turns on its rear axle with a minimum headland requirement of 7.1m for row-to-row turning. Minimum row spacing is 1.85m, giving growers options to deploy automation in a greater variety of applications in various crop types. This means the ground is covered faster, maximising productivity and spray time compared to machines that turn on every second row or greater. The vehicle’s lightweight design, combined with its unique tyre and wheel configuration, reduces ground compaction. Robotics Plus’ ongoing partnership with Yamaha Motor Co, a global technology leader, allows the company to take advantage of their extensive knowledge in machine vision, artificial intelligence, and productising vehicles for scale. 
Q Series Sprayers 
Q Series Sprayers, developed by Robotics Plus in conjunction with Croplands, allow growers to deploy a range of sprayer configurations, adapting to various crop types and growing systems. The Q4 / Q6 sprayers have two or three fans per side designed for either vine or tree crops. The Q8 sprayer comprises eight fans, four per side, and is best suited to tree crops. Spray rates and air speed are dynamic and controlled per fan to maximise spray efficacy through electric drive and control systems. The sprayers are built using Croplands Quantum fans that produce targeted, controlled and turbulent air for better coverage from the superior droplet formation and spray deposition.  
Safety and Management  
To implement Prospr, a mesh network is installed to give a more consistent connection and interaction with the machine, improving operational efficiencies and user safety. Operators can manage and streamline the day’s work with a new organisational tool with an easy-to-use interface. Coordination is enabled between team members with multi-language support across various desktop and mobile devices. Jobs can be logged in advance and viewed in real-time. Completed or in-progress jobs are mapped and recorded digitally. Multiple machines can be managed simultaneously by one or two operators from a single remote control via a fixed or mobile console. 

For more information on Prospr or to order from Croplands, please contact your Croplands Territory Manager.


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