Bank swarms on robot opportunity

03 Feb, 2016 08:51 AM
SwarmFarm robot in field
SwarmFarm robot in field

In a sign of the growth in ag robotics, Queensland company, SwarmFarm Robotics Pty Ltd, has announced it is partnering with Westpac.

SwarmFarm is aiming to develop a commercial robot to assist crop “productivity, lower costs, increase production and reduce environmental impacts”.

Farmers Andrew and Jocie Bate of Gindie near Emerald, began developing the robots as an alternative to bigger, faster farm equipment.

General manager Westpac Agribusiness, Steve Hannan said, “SwarmFarms’ autonomous robots offer many benefits to farming in the future including environmental guardianship and the reduced environmental impacts of agriculture.

“Andrew & Jocie have developed a solution that will revolutionise the future of farming across Australia delivering savings in terms of labour costs, increased yields, more efficiently used inputs and greatly improved capital productivity.

SwarmFarm chairman Campbell Newman said the company is “determined to export this technology to the world.

“We don’t want this to be snapped up by a large international company; our aim is to pursue it in Australia, so the technology, the software, the know-how stays in Australia,” Mr Newman said.

“We’re pretty big on that. We see the local and international linkages that Westpac Agribusiness has are important to achieving this.”

Tom McKenny

Tom McKenny

is the national machinery writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


4/02/2016 8:15:59 AM

Its no secret who has controlling interest of our banks, which begs the question, is this just a secret buyout of any challenge to the status quo (just like the Monsanto attempted takeover of Blue River Tech)? and with all the rubbish trade agreements we have signed, is there any provision for limiting the effects of controlling interest? Where are the grower bodies like GRDC to represent growers in this market?


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