With today’s technology, autonomy in agriculture is no longer a far off idea. California-based Crinklaw Farm Services Inc. has chosen Cummins to power the world’s first autonomous orchard sprayer, the Global Unmanned Spray System (though you’ll probably hear it referred to as GUSS).
GUSS is helping to ease the labor challenges facing agriculture, and provide gains in operational efficiency, precision and safety. Using a combination of GPS, vehicle sensors and software, a single employee can remotely monitor up to 10 GUSS sprayers at once across a variety of orchards.
Crinklaw Farm Services worked alongside Cummins to develop a suitable long term power solution for GUSS sprayers. At World Ag Expo 2018, it was announced that the Cummins QSB6.7 engine would be powering the first and only autonomous orchard sprayer in the world.
Gary Thompson the Marketing Director for Crinklaw Farm Services said, “GUSS’s whole design philosophy is based around innovation, efficiency and performance — building a machine that can spray row after row, day after day. For that, we needed a power solution we could rely on and Cummins has been very supportive in providing an exemplary engine package coupled with machine integration expertise. For us, 2019 is going to be a very exciting year, our new manufacturing facility in Kingsburg, California will be completed, enabling sales of GUSS globally”
So far, Crinklaw Farm Services has built seven GUSS autonomous sprayers which operate as part of their custom spray application service for mid to large scale tree farms. The California-based business is currently constructing a 20,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Kingsburg and expects to begin selling GUSS sprayers in 2019.
Ann Schmelzer the Global General Manager of Agriculture at Cummins added, “As an incredibly innovative sector, agriculture provides a fantastic platform for autonomy, particularly when higher operational efficiencies and increased productivity are primary objectives. Integrating ultra-clean diesel engines with autonomous service vehicles is a great example of how the agriculture industry continues to move forward. We are excited to power such ground-breaking innovation.”
Visitors to World Ag Expo in Tulare, California, will be able to see GUSS on show and meet the team.