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TWE trials robotic help to optimise yield prediction

Published:  14 June, 2021

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is embracing robotic help in a bid to optimise yield prediction in wine grapes, and to improve autonomous crop spraying with the use of robots, as part of a three-way trial.

The R&D project, in partnership with The Yield Technology Solutions Pty (The Yield) and global technology giant Yamaha Motor Co (YMC), will commence in TWE vineyards in Australia later this year and the West Coast of the US from early next year. 

The trial, which brings together Yamaha’s robotics platform with The Yield’s microclimate, software, analytics, and AI platform, aims to improve harvest prediction accuracy by gathering growth stage data through visual data collection. 

Moreover, it also aims to test and develop emerging autonomous robot technology, and optimise spray effectiveness by integrating weather data and spray guidelines to maximise autonomous spray efficiency. 

“As custodian of some of the world’s most iconic wine brands and with a large global agricultural footprint, TWE is committed to taking an integrated approach to sustainability to manage risks and make the most of new, emerging opportunities”, said Greg Pearce, general manager, viticulture and Project Vale, at TWE.

“TWE is focused on cultivating a brighter future for everyone who touches our business and products, and this includes investing in new technology and innovations to adapt to the climate trends impacting our business. 

“TWE is proud of its ongoing partnership with The Yield to improve the predictability of weather and climate, crop yield, harvest timing and fruit grading – all critical drivers of wine quality.

"This latest industry-leading collaboration brings together our viticulture and winemaking expertise with world class robotics and automation to enable us to better predict optimal harvest opportunities and efficiently irrigate our vineyards,” he said.

During the 18-month project, The Yield and Yamaha will negotiate commercial arrangements to bring a joint solution for intensive irrigated crops to international markets in early 2023, the trio of companies said. 

Last month, TWE launched a premium sustainable wine brand in the UK exclusively for the on-trade.