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VITIBOT, the robot winemaker made in Reims!

Apr 6, 2021 • 2 mins
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Team Grappers

Viti for viticulture, bot for robot, and Bakus… for Bacchus! Vitibot is a Marne-based company specialising in the development and production of autonomous electric straddle tractors used for wine growing.

Before Vitibot...

Vitibot was initially a project brought to life by Cédric Bache. A project that went by the name of Hector. Could there be a link with Hectare, maybe..? The aim of the project was to fit a crawler tractor with autonomous guiding technology.

Following the creation of this start-up company in 2016 and a number of awards for its innovative design, Hector stepped aside and was replaced with Bakus. Bakus is firmly establishing itself, not just in Champagne, but in a number of other wine regions including Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence and Val de Loire and is even gaining interest from international wine regions.

It would appear that once you’re tried it there’s no going back!

The company offers trials in the vineyards in order to demonstrate the abilities of its robot.

Vitibot now has over 50 employees, 20 robots produced and over 250 hectares of vines covered and has recently raised 11 million euros in funding. On a local level, Vitibot has gained support from several champagne houses including Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, Louis Roederer, Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët, Laurent Perrier and Pommery.

Working your vines by smartphone, is now possible!

Bakus moves around in real-time and with a high level of precision thanks to a system composed of two RTK GPS detectors (Real-Time Kinematic).

It offers state of the art technology, 10 hours of autonomy and can be used day or night thanks to its low sound levels. Its specially designed weight distribution system also helps to reduce soil compaction.

The invention offers several advantages in terms of the environment whilst also providing solutions to challenges faced by winegrowers such as the reduction of phytosanitary products, time-saving objectives and improved safety conditions for operators. One of Bakus’ primary objectives is to facilitate the move towards sustainable winegrowing practices by handling time-consuming tasks on the winegrower’s behalf.

Although the Champagne appellation requires harvesting by hand, the work carried out throughout the year in the vineyards may be carried out mechanically, or robotically even!

What is your view on these innovative developments? Have you had a chance to see Bakus in action yet?