Electric Guss autonomous orchard sprayer unveiled at World Ag Expo

Electric Guss orchard spray machine Electric Guss orchard spray machine (Photo: John Deere, Guss Automation)

John Deere and Guss Automation have debuted what is described as ‘the world’s first and only fully electric autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer’.

The Electric Guss was unveiled at the World Ag Expo 2024 in Tulare, California.

Building on the Guss sprayer introduced in 2023, the new version allows growers to control multiple units from a remote location. The ‘intelligent’ sprayer can help to increase productivity and optimise labour.

The Electric Guss uses battery packs supplied from Kriesel. With a full charge these are said to be capable of powering the machine for a full shift. Using a combination of GPS, LIDAR and other proprietary tech, up to eight units can be controlled by one operator.

Autonomous capability includes the ability to automatically avoid hazards and stop spraying when people are in close proximity.

Other features include a spot-spraying weed detection system which identifies chlorophyll in the weeds and only sprays where they are detected. This can reduce the amount of applied product by up to 90%, reducing costs, enhancing employee safety and improving sustainability.

The sprayer is 23’ 6” by 6’ 4” (7.18m x 1.93m) (length x height) and has an operational width of between 8’ 4” (2.53m) and 19’ (5.79m). The hydraulically-controlled height-adjustable spray booms accommodate 18 – 22’ row spacing. These can also be tilted upwards for berm spraying.

The diesel-powered Orchard Guss and mini Guss blast sprayers can also be retrofitted with the Smart Apply intelligent spray control system. Smart Apply was acquired by John Deere in 2023.

The Smart Apply system can locate individual trees and adjust spray patterns accordingly, helping to maximise application accuracy and reduce material usage.

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