GUSS Automation is a really interesting company that make autonomous vehicles for orchards that allows self-driving sprayers to be faster, safer, and easier and operate day or night.
The GUSS autonomous vehicle uses a combination of GPS, LiDAR, sensors with some really smart software to route its way safely and efficiently through orchards. This software allows a single employee to monitor as many as 8 GUSS sprayers at a time, reducing the humans required to maintain the orchard and protect from pests.
Thanks to some massive 50″ wheels, the vehicle is capable of traversing uneven terrain even in the wet. Powered by a 90 Gallon Fuel Cell, the vehicle can run for up to 14 hours at a time. Cornering can often be challenging in tight rows of fruit and vegetables and to accommodate this, there is 4-wheel steering.
After unveiling their latest vehicle last September, farming giant John Deere and the California-based technology company, GUSS have announced a joint venture. This is aimed at accelerating the development and distribution of semi-autonomous orchard and vineyard spraying technology to assist horticulture producers to achieve greater on-farm efficiency.
As part of the collaboration, John Deere will provide access to its global sales channels to support market growth, while GUSS will continue its innovation and product development to best serve the horticultural industry.
John Deere Director, Small Tractor & HVC Production Systems, Chris Davison, said the collaboration was the result of a shared vision to deliver technology innovation that will assist permanent crop growers to achieve increased productivity and profitability in their businesses.
As demand for high-value crops grows, we see significant opportunities to help producers be more productive while addressing the challenges such as limited access to skilled labour to operate equipment.
The GUSS team has a deep understanding of high-value crop production systems, as well as strong relationships with customers and a proven track record of deploying innovative technology, while both companies are committed to developing pathways to grow more food using fewer resources.John Deere Director, Small Tractor & HVC Production Systems, Chris Davison
John Deere Australia and New Zealand Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski said GUSS had found a way to apply GPS technology in challenging conditions, meaning permeant cropping enterprises could also utilise the same level of exciting innovation now available to broadacre operations.
“Traditionally, using GPS guidance under orchards and vineyards canopies has been challenging, but GUSS has overcome this issue by developing several additional technologies, including vehicle sensors and software to supplement GPS and guide GUSS safely and efficiently through crops.
With the ability for operators to control up to eight sprayers at once, GUSS equipment provides enormous productivity gains to growers by reducing pressure to find skilled operators, while also using fewer resources and reducing costs by eliminating operator error and downtime.”John Deere Australia and New Zealand Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski
Founded in 2018 and with a staff of approximately 35, GUSS will retain its employees, brand name, and trademark, and continue to operate from its current location.
GUSS technology is not currently sold through John Deere dealers in Australia and New Zealand.