What do we use our test field for?
FarmDroid has a test field at Ravnholtgaard in Vejen. As a part of Rural Impact Hub, a unique and versatile development environment for AgTech companies, we have been provided a test field close to our headquarters.
The FarmDroid test field
We have had a test field at Ravnholtgaard for 2 years now. Ravnholtgaard is a beautiful farm located near Vejen in Denmark. The farm and its associated piece of land is a part of Rural Impact Hub, which is a growth environment for AgTech companies. More specifically, Rural Impact Hub connects impact investment with the development of technology for the future’s climate neutral agriculture. As a part of this environment, AgTech companies can develop their technology in direct collaboration with farmers. Moreover, Rural Impact Hub gives unique access to various agricultural test environments.
Through the Rural Impact Hub environment, we have a test field of approximately 8 hectares, where there is plenty of space for us to test the robot. The test field area consists of different types of terrain, such as rugged terrain, water holes and places with clayed soil. This gives us optimal conditions for testing the robot in practice.
Last year we mainly used the field for testing the robot’s navigation system. However, this year we have also cultivated different crops at the field. Using the robot, we have seeded and weeded both carrots, romaine salad, beetroots, sugar beets and onions.
Why do we have a test field?
We use the test field for various purposes; testing new functions, testing the robot’s navigation system, and testing how the robot works in the soil. The main purpose of having a test field is to test the robot and its functions in practice.
For the most part it is Jens Warming, our CTO, who works in the test field, where he focuses on experimenting with the robot’s software and mechanics.
“Most of the time is spent on navigation tests, tests of new functions and user-friendliness, but in fact also the work in the soil. So, everything that has to do with robot really” explains Jens Warming, CTO and co-founder of FarmDroid, about his work in our test field.
Besides from testing and optimizing the robot, we use the test field to show our employees how the robot works. It is a great opportunity for the employees to learn more about the robot. Seeing it drive in the field makes it easier to grasp what it does and getting to operate it gives a better understanding of how user-friendly it is.
A test field is essential to develop the robot
As with any product, development is a common part of the journey. In close collaboration with our customers and distributors, we continuously develop the robot to meet their different needs. As a part of the robot’s natural development process, it is paramount for us to have a place where we can try and evaluate new functionalities. To do this properly, we must test the robot in its natural surroundings. We need to see how it functions in the soil. In other words, a test field is necessary for us to develop the robot. It is at our test field that ideas and prototypes get to perform in real life.