What we doAvL COMPACT S1560

The AvL COMPACT S1560 is an autonomous asparagus harvesting robot, suitable for harvesting white asparagus. The machine is delivered ready for use on existing plots and can be operated by just one operator. The operator uses remote control to direct the machine to harvest-ready asparagus and during autonomous harvesting the operator only needs to collect the asparagus.

How does the robot work?
The asparagus harvesting robot harvests asparagus selectively and autonomously, with the machine tracking the asparagus bed at a constant speed of up to 3.6 km/h. The robot detects, cuts and harvests the asparagus before collecting it in a transfer unit. The machine comprises the following modules:

*Pre-processing system
The pre-processing system detects the harvest-ready asparagus. Comparable with conventional manual harvesting, the machine notes the asparagus that are just emerging from the sand.

*Master frame
The asparagus is harvested in the master frame. The harvested asparagus is cut to the correct length here without damaging adjacent asparagus. “Mechanical fingers” then remove the asparagus from the asparagus bed. The asparagus is then moved to the end of the machine, where it is collected in a collection unit.

*Post-processing system
The post-processing system restores the asparagus bed to its original condition. This optional system is not needed daily as the harvesting module itself causes hardly any damage to the asparagus bed. Selecting this option ensures optimal bed condition throughout the harvesting season.

*Propulsion system
The propulsion system transports all the above-mentioned components as well as the power supply, control modules and secondary systems. The propulsion system aims for speeds of 1 m/s and is self-driving.

          * Dimensions: 5746 x 2140 x 2407 [mm] (L x W x H)
          * Track width: 1.80 [m]
          * Turning radius: 4.5 [m]
          * Operating weight: approx. 3,900 [kg]
          * Ground pressure: approx. 0.7 [kg/cm2]
          * Maximum speed: 5.7 [km/h]
          * Maximum harvesting speed: 3.6 [km/h]
          * Propulsion: Kubota V3307-TE4B 55kW (4-cylinder turbodiesel)
          * Power distribution: Twin Danfoss LoadSens hydraulic system
          * Compressed air supply: Boge 600 L/min hydraulic power supply
          * Control system: Twin Siemens S1500 controlled by Siemens HMI KTP700 Basic

          * Standard number of harvesting modules: 10
          * Harvesting time: 1.3 [s]
          * Repeatability: 60 [ms]
          * Harvesting reach: 60 [mm]
          * Asparagus harvesting length: 240 - 340 [mm]
          * Detection: Optical

Asparagus is a delicate vegetable, so the robot needs to operate in a sensitive and subtle way. First it determines which asparagus are harvest-ready. It is important that the machine is selective, only removing the harvest-ready asparagus from the ground. This takes place in almost the same way as conventional harvesting: its “fingers” gently remove the asparagus from the ground in a movement that hardly lifts any sand. The asparagus is then placed on a transport conveyor without damaging the asparagus. Asparagus quality is important; the AvL COMPACT S1560 was developed especially for this!

The harvesting robot is currently available in a single-row configuration. In this configuration the machine can harvest approx. 15 hectares per day, depending on distance and plot layout. A 3-row configuration with an approx. 45-hectare capacity will be available in the near future. The machine can be transported easily using the supplied trailer, making it accessible for both small and large growers.

Mini tunnels
The machine harvests asparagus on conventional plots with black-white plastic sheeting. From 2020 the machine will also available for use with mini tunnels. Mini tunnels ensure that asparagus can be harvested earlier in the season. Using the machine in combination with mini tunnels will enable mini tunnels to be used more effectively.

If you have any questions and/or are interested in the concept, please get in touch with us.