Farming: Sprayer shows way

MERBEIN dried fruit growers Stephen and Malcolm Bennett’s autonomous weed sprayer ­prototype, the Pathfinder, is now able to drive itself up and down the property’s vines.

Dried fruit grower Stephen Bennett with the Pathfinder weed sprayer.
Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Dried fruit grower Stephen Bennett with the Pathfinder weed sprayer. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

The Bennett brothers initially received a $1400 innovation grant from Dried Fruits Aust­ralia to equip the vehicle with a high-accuracy GPS, an auto-pilot electronic system and a navigation computer.

“I’m pleased that I’ve been able to get it to automatically drive up and down between two rows of vines,” Stephen said.

“The next step is to get it to do some spraying, which will involve a bit more of tuning on the navigation.

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