DOT’s inventor Norbert Beaujot says it all started as SeedMaster looked at the idea of doing an autonomous seeder when he developed the u-shaped power platform to move it.
The idea and design took off and they began manufacturing.
This year they’ll have about 10 units out on-farm this spring across Western Canada.
He notes DOT was his baby and it was a tough decision to sell.
“We got it to the stage of proof of concept stage and testing stage, that we know it’ll work. It’ll do a lot for farmers, and really, it takes a larger company to take it forward from here on.”
Wade Robey, Executive Director of Raven Autonomy and General Manager of Dot, says they expect to see interest in the unit continue to grow.
“This year we hope to sell somewhere around 25 units with them principally going to Western Canada, across a range of different applications this year. So, currently, we have a seeder, a spreader, and a sprayer that are approved implements for DOT; and we're working on a couple of other implements that we'd like to have ready to go by the end of the year.”
He believes autonomous equipment can help address the labour shortage issue in the agriculture sector.
“This isn't just a situation that affects North America, as we talk to partners in South Africa and Australia, in Latin America. They're having tremendous issues with labour, not just labour accessibility but the education or the capability of that labour to do what are very sophisticated jobs on farm, and to operate what are very sophisticated pieces of machinery.”
Robey thinks with automation we’ll see a tremendous opportunity to optimize production, improve the efficiency of farming, and reduce the cost of farming.
Raven Industries will continue to manufacture DOT in Saskatchewan with SeedMaster.