Autonomous diet feeder launched

  • KUHN has launched a new self-propelled, autonomous diet feeder capable of feeding 280 cows
  • The new AURA works autonomously using GPS and RTK to move around a farm collecting and feeding out a TMR. Inbuilt loading and weighing modules calculate the exact mix of forage material including grass and maize, along with any supplements and concentrates required

The AURA’s 3m3 mixing tank features two vertical augers that require a lower power requirement and feature KUHN’s K-NOX technology to guarantee a service life of six times longer than steel alternatives. The mixing and chopping speed can be adjusted to create a homogenous TMR with a palatable consistency.

A 56hp (42kW) diesel engine can power the AURA for up to a week of continual loading and feeding, making it a truly autonomous machine.

The AURA is remarkably compact, standing at 2.6 metres high, 1.9 metres wide and just under 7 metres in length. This helps it to move around most areas of the farm including feed passages and clamps. It feeds out at a speed of 2km/h on both the left and right using a conveyor, and can travel at up to 7km/h.

A dual guidance system uses GPS and RTK outside and LIDAR inside in conjunction with an onboard odometer. Farms choosing an AURA will be mapped and WIFI devices installed to enable connectivity throughout. The AURA also has inbuilt sensors to stop or avoid objects and it can travel on gradients up to 20%.

The TMR can be calculated as often as is needed and uploaded to the AURA remotely. Its built-in loading and weighing modules enable it to travel to sources of forage, concentrates and minerals to load. A multi-purpose milling head ensures that all forage is loaded efficiently whilst onboard weighing sensors can calculate the TMR to the nearest kilo. Farms using the AURA will also be fitted with augers connected to silos containing concentrates and minerals that have a receiver to communicate with the AURA’s onboard transmitter.

The time and frequency of feeding can be set to precise points 24 hours a day to enable consistent feeding without intervention. The AURA also features rotating bushes that push up forage and double up to clean the clamp of any fallen material. The brushes operate on both sides of the machine to offer the flexibility to feed in any housing.

The AURA will be distributed initially in France with other countries in Europe following. The first units are expected in the UK from 2024/25.