Meet GUSS. GUSS stands for Global Unmanned Spray System.
GUSS marketing director Gary Thompson says, “It’s the world’s first autonomous orchard sprayer. Autonomous means it’s completely driverless. It goes through orchards and it sprays trees with fertilizers and other materials like that.
Thompson works at GUSS’s new headquarters in Kingsburg where the machines are made.
He says, “We have our assembly line up and running now. We’re getting to the point where we’re going to have one machine a week going out the doors.”
GUSS started developing the self-driving sprayer in 2015.
Besides navigating orchards without a driver, the machines are designed to deliver a precise spray of chemicals like fertilizer. It’s meant to raise the bar on efficiency, precision as well as deal with a labor shortage in agriculture.
Thompson says, “The main benefit is GUSS is that one guy can be sitting in his pickup on the side of the field with a laptop and he can monitor up to eight of these machines at a time as they’re out working in the field.”
Of course, with new technology like this, safety and service are paramount. If an obstacle is detected, GUSS can send a video feed to the operator in his pickup. “And then as a last case resort there is a bumper on the front of the machine. And if that bumper is pressed for any reason it shuts the diesel engine off.”
“If a grower called us and said they were experiencing a problem, right here in this office we can hook up through a cellular connection to that sprayer and diagnose that problem.”
GUSS’s Kingsburg company has been in the farm service business for 37 years. “Our central location here in the Central Valley helps us tremendously.”
More information is available on their website, http://gussag.com/