Pöttinger’s SENSOSAFE is an assistance system for detecting and protecting wild animals. An optical sensor bar is mounted directly on the mower or an intermediate frame. If a signal is sent to the mower’s hydraulics system, it automatically raises the front mower. Several SENSOSAFE prototypes have been subjected to intensive testing during the 2020 season and the feedback from the field has been extremely encouraging. The system saved the lives of a remarkably high number of animals.
In spring, when young roe deer and other small wild animals hide in high grass, they are particularly at risk during the first cut. Their natural reflex is to cower rather than run away. The engineers at Pöttinger took up this challenge and have developed an assistance system for detecting animals. SENSOSAFE is the first system of this kind in the world equipped with optical sensors. They work perfectly even in daylight and direct sunlight. The optical sensor bar is mounted directly on the front mower and/or on an intermediate bar. This innovative idea was awarded the Silver Innovation Award back in 2017.
SENSOSAFE sensors convert different wavelengths of light into an electrical signal. That is how SENSOSAFE detects a fawn or other small wild animal. The system immediately sends a signal to the mower hydraulics, which automatically raise the mower at lightning speed. It also emits an acoustic signal so that the tractor driver can apply the brakes. There is also a second version for rear mowers that features a separate intermediate frame with a sensor bar mounted on the front hitch. In the working position it is folded outwards. The sensor bar covers the full working of the rear mounted mower. There is a sufficiently large space between the sensor bar and the rear mower. When the system emits a signal (visual and audible), the driver can stop the tractor to get out of the cab and bring the animal out of the danger zone. The driver can also simply lift the rear mower and leave a small area uncut.
Other systems need additional personnel to locate animals before mowing starts. SENSOSAFE has the advantage that no additional personnel are required.