when technology serves the environment

The first edition of the Vi-TIC exhibition, an event dedicated to digital and robotic innovation serving the wine industry, was held this summer near Bordeaux. It presented a panel of ingenious solutions to enable winegrowers to better monitor their production factor and to take the right decisions at the right time, to respond to the problems of labour, repetition and the difficulty of tasks.

This is the case of Bakus, a robot created by VitiBot “to go further in respecting people”, explains Rodolphe Gérard, VitiBot’s sales manager for New Aquitaine and Occitanie.

“The job of tractor driver is an exhausting job, which can lead to many health problems. Today, the robot is an opportunity for these professionals to continue to do their job without wearing themselves out, to preserve these men for more complex tasks, and to robotize what can be. There is a human aspect that no company could imagine. There are real pairs that have been created. People who got attached to the robot.” Some even give him a nickname, because he is part of the workforce too.

Getting back to work with the horse

This robot also presents interesting aspects in terms of respect for biodiversity. Electric, it does not release CO2 on the property. With its lightness and its low pressure tires, it does not compact the soil. “Soil compaction will compact the earth, limit all the life present”, explains Rodolphe Gérard.

“There is a real awareness in agriculture and viticulture that the soil is the raw material for production. You have to know how to maintain this soil and maintain this beautiful biodiversity, which allows you to go further in the quality of the wines.”


Finally, and this is what also brings him closer to the horse, he does not make noise. “When you know the profession of tractor driver, you are a winegrower and you have tractors around you all day, having a robot that moves in almost total silence gives the feeling of reliving this time when animals worked the floors next to us.”

Valuable help towards more virtuous practices

Other tools make it possible to limit, or even cancel, the use of pesticides. Like these connected weather hubs offered by Cap2020. These will come to measure the temperature, the humidity of the air, of the soil, of the foliage, the rain, the wind. Humidity will, for example, have an influence on the development of diseases, while the detection of intra-plot microclimates will make it possible to anticipate climatic risks.

“It’s much more precise than a classic weather station,” explains Cindy Lassoureille, marketing and communication manager at Cap2020. “We know everything. We are no longer going to do preventive treatment, we are no longer going to light the candles if there is not going to be frost. It is an economic and ecological gain.”

Another tool offered by Cap2020, connected traps, which will allow day-to-day monitoring of plots. This involves counting insect pests and adapting its behavior, and in particular promoting the use of biological treatments. Solutions can be put in place upstream, via sexual confusion, to prevent insect pests from reproducing in crops. The treatment can also be curative. “We install auxiliary insects that will parasitize the pest within the vine”, specifies Cindy Lassoureille.

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