Reducing Pesticide Waste
in the Grape Farming Industry.
Corporate Partner :
Design Team :
Swinburne University of Technology
Nick Hall, Ourdia Borderie-Portet,
Juan David, Vlliani Osorio
Kyoto Institute of Technology
Yosuke Aono, Natsumi Takamatsu,
Kazutaka Nakabe, Ruposh Mahdi Sarwa
Yanmar, interested in making a bigger impact in the grape growing industry, challenged the student team from Swinburne University of Technology and the Kyoto Institute of Technology with a simple brief: Innovation for Vineyards.
While analyzing the workings of the industry, the student team came to an understanding: many of the techniques used by the farmers required a significant amount of labor, with tools not customized to the grape growing experience. In the case of pesticide use, vineyard farmers relied on machines that were not designed to be used on vines', resulting in pesticide drift. Unlike most crops, vines are grown connected, making it difficult for farmers to cover the entire vine in pesticide. This difficulty results in much of the pesticide being blown away in the breeze, leaving it to be carried off into rivers and runoff. Pesticide drift also brings financial loss to farmers, as the product they paid to be used on their crop has been sprayed on almost everything but.
Their final answer came as the XS-310, a device that covers the vines as pesticide is applied. Three sides are covered with physical shields while two sides have air curtains to trap the pesticide in an enclosed volume. This way, drift is significantly reduced compared to an uncovered spraying technique. The XS-310 sprays in an X-shape within the shields, allowing for proper coverage of pesticides on the vines. Any pesticide that is not used is captured and reused. With a safer and more cost efficient pesticide application system, the cultivation of grapes could be better optimized.