Drone Harvester - First Field Trial

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Initial results of the first full field trial of the drone


  • It handled wet and sticky conditions well. The trial was done between showers under conditions I would be reluctant to use our commercial harvester as it would make a bit of a mess in the soft ground.
  • It also picked up very cleanly in reasonably heavy leaf and weeds, again on the point where the commercial harvester would struggle a bit.
  • Most aspects of the machine - general principle, operation, emptying - worked satisfactorily and more or less as designed.


  • Most of the negatives can be traced back to the drive motors being underpowered, they are really on their limit.
  • This led to some difficulty driving on minor slopes, heavy weeds and even larger exposed roots.
  • The lack of power also made it difficult to steer in some circumstances particularly when one half of the drive got snagged on something.
  • It would be better with a feedback system on the motor controls to self-regulate the power to them.
  • The design of the two way extractor combs also needs to be changed

So in conclusion the biggest change to come out of this trial is that the motors will be upgraded. There might also be some software changes, adjustment of clearances etc.

In the video below I am still something of an ‘L-plate’ driver. About half way through I thought it had died but it turned out I had just pressed the wrong button on my control panel.