EXXACT Robotics unveils autonomous hydrogen-powered vineyard straddle tractor

The Traxx concept tractor in a field.
The autonomous Traxx Concept H2 uses hydrogen fuel cells and battery power to operate all day. The vehicle is the first alternative power platform from EXXACT. | Credit: EXXACT Robotics

French agriculture robotics vendor, EXXACT Robotics, unveils the new fully autonomous TRAXX Concept H2 vineyard straddle tractor. The Concept H2 has been in development for 24 months.

This autonomous machine consists of full-power technology combining a fuel cell associated with small power batteries, reaching 35kW of available power. The capacity of the pressurized tanks makes it possible to work a full day without interruption.

The idea behind this fuel-cell concept is to demonstrate the feasibility of the integration of the hydrogen fuel cell into an autonomous vineyard straddle carrier, as well as safety, ergonomics and charging solutions. EXXACT Robotics will begin in-field tests with select customers during the upcoming 2023 growing season. This solution is designed specifically for the tasks of cultivating and harvesting grapes.

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Hydrogen is a clean and efficient replacement for hydrocarbons. It makes it possible to use lighter viticultural machines that don’t compact the soil as much, make less noise, and get the most out of a site thanks to a fast charging time. The wine-making industry in France is key to the French economy and tradition. The industry is continually looking for innovations that improve yields, reduce costs and offer a lower carbon footprint.

TRAXX Concept H2 is a new innovation, which will complement the existing TRAXX diesel-powered straddle tractor that launched in 2022. EXXACT Robotics is the automation division of EXEL Industries, a 70-year-old agriculture equipment provider for the winemaking industry in France.

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Written by

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at moitzman@wtwhmedia.com.