Partnership Brings New Capabilities to Autonomous Farming Robot
Apex.AI is expanding its partnership with agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO, offering its software development kit to bring autonomous capabilities to AGCO’s farming robot concept vehicle, Fendt Xaver.
The battery-powered, cloud-controlled Xaver bots can autonomously plant seeds on farms 24 hours a day and boast centimeter precision planting capabilities, using satellite-based navigation to accurately pinpoint the areas for planting. The new software from Apex.AI will bring new sensor features to the bots, including lidar object detection, as well as collision checking and planning to further enhance accuracy and data collection.
“Apex.OS is a foundational software framework and development kit for rapidly developing advanced autonomous capabilities,” said Christian Kelber, director of engineering at AGCO. “The technology has helped AGCO shorten R&D timelines of our smart agricultural solutions and for the future of highly automated robots.”
AGCO has already leveraged Apex.OS to develop a specific software stack based on automotive-industry standards to extend Xaver’s real-time autonomous functions. The Fendt Xaver fleet can be controlled remotely through an app and provides real-time data from each unit, including its location, status, and diagnostics.
“We are leveraging our success in the automotive and autonomous driving industry and applying it to areas that have similar functional safety needs such as agricultural, industrial, mining and construction,” said Jan Becker, co-founder, and CEO of Apex.AI. “Apex.OS allows the software architecture to be modular, scalable and safe, enabling customers to transition their R&D projects to commercial-ready products in record time.”
Apex.AI has gained significant industry interest for its sensor technology, announcing $56.5 million in series B funding at the end of 2021, with investors including Toyota Ventures, Volvo Group Venture Capital and Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures. The group has plans to expand beyond automotive applications to meet market needs in agriculture, mining and construction.