| |

Guardian Agriculture, Wilbur-Ellis Partner to Develop Autonomous Aerial Sprayers


June 28, 2022

Guardian Agriculture, which develops a fully autonomous crop protection aircraft system, has announced a multi-million-dollar partnership with Wilbur-Ellis, a distributor and manufacturer of agricultural products, specialty chemicals, and animal feed. The partnership will allow Wilbur-Ellis customers the opportunity to access Guardian’s aerial technology for precision aerial application in agriculture.

“This is the first new aerial technology to make a material impact on American farms,” said Mike Wilbur, CEO of Cavallo Ventures at Wilbur-Ellis. “We believe it can be profitably and rapidly deployed and are looking forward to working with Guardian Ag to roll out their technology to our customers and partners.”

Guardian Ag’s fully electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) system delivers precision application of crop protection in a fraction of the time and cost of other vehicles, the company said. It can carry multi-hundred-pound payloads and address several application spray volumes and application needs for growers. The aircraft features four six-foot propellers and an overall 15-foot aircraft width, and can cover 40 acres per our of full-field crop protection to growers.

The system combines the autonomous aircraft, a ground supercharger and software that generates domestically stored data, the system also provides on-target application to fields when and where necessary. It uses industry standard nozzles, pressure, droplet sizes, and application volumes.

GuardianSC1 800px

“Guardian’s technology delivers tremendous benefits to both growers and the environment,” said Adam Bercu, CEO and co-founder of Guardian Ag. “Growers can expect a cost-effective application that will solve critical problems with coverage quality, sustainability, repeatability, and eliminate off-target spray and overspray.”

Data collected during flight includes wind speed, temperatures, obstructions, and more, the company said. Coupled with pre-planned flight plans, designated spray boundaries and spray rates, the system aims to significantly reduce application errors by providing superior spray quality with reduced environmental and economic risk impacts. “Our autonomous systems deliver high-precision crop protection, enabling significant improvements in environmental safety for workers, soil health, and beneficial insect conservation,” said Jeff Sparks, co-founder and chief operating officer at Guardian Ag.

Guardian said the regulatory approval process is under way, with commercialization and availability to growers expected in 2023. The Salinas Valley of California is being eyed as the potential first deployment location of the eVTOL aircraft in 2023.

For more details on the Guardian Ag system, visit its website here.

Robotics World News

  • Seed Group and Ryberg Partner to Bring AI-Assisted Disinfection Technology to the Middle East

    Seed Group and Ryberg Partner to Bring AI-Assisted Disinfection Technology to the Middle East

    Netherlands-based Ryberg combines the latest in computer vision, robotics, and infection prevention-technologies to deliver intelligence and efficiency in disinfection. Ryberg has developed Disinfection Robots, which are self-driving disinfection machines. Ryberg’s patented Disinfection Engine makes intelligent disinfection decisions, allowing the robots to disinfect spaces for up to 6 hours—to bring a layer of defense in the… Read More…

  • Wind River and Airbus Collaborate on Certification of Automatic Air-to-Air Refueling (A3R)

    Wind River and Airbus Collaborate on Certification of Automatic Air-to-Air Refueling (A3R)

    Wind River, a global leader in delivering software for mission-critical intelligent systems, announced it has worked with Airbus to support the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for automatic air-to-air refueling (A3R). The MRTT aircraft is the world’s first tanker to be certified for automatic air-to-air refueling boom operations in daylight. Airbus uses VxWorks 653 for the A330 MRTT… Read More…

Products for Robots & Cobots

  • Jabil, OSRAM, Artilux Develop Next-Generation 3D Camera Prototype

    Jabil, OSRAM, Artilux Develop Next-Generation 3D Camera Prototype

    Manufacturing solutions provider Jabil has announced that its optical design center in Jena, Germany, is currently demonstrating a prototype of a next-generation 3D camera with the ability to operate in both indoor and outdoor environments up to a range of 20 meters. The prototype was the result of a combination of proprietary technologies from Jabil,… Read More…

  • Product Profile: IDS CMOS Sensor IMX273

    Product Profile: IDS CMOS Sensor IMX273

    What is it? IDS cameras can be found in automotive, packaging, printing, and robotics industries, as well as in medical technology, traffic monitoring, security, kiosk systems, and logistics contexts.  The global shutter CMOS sensor IMX273 in the Sony Pregius series offers high image quality, high sensitivity and wide dynamic range. With a resolution of 1.58… Read More…