News and Success Stories

Published 26 September 2023

A match made: Dataphyll mobilised

“This is just the beginning of what’s possible.” 

That's what Dataphyll CEO Christoph Kistler said after pairing the capabilities of two agritech solutions at last months’ HortNZ Conference in Christchurch.

Dataphyll is an orchard mapping and management software that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to help growers improve productivity, meet compliance, and manage tasks in real-time. 

The software has already attracted over 40 customers across the country, saving farmers time and money by highlighting potential efficiencies from picking through to payroll. 

Now, with Burro autonomous robots arriving in New Zealand, Dataphyll’s technology can also be mobilised.

Leading automation solution provider Agri Automation was confirmed as an exclusive distributor of Burro across New Zealand and Australia last month. 

The robots are the latest of Agri Automation’s offering, already providing solutions under the GoTrack product line such as autonomous tractor control system, GoTrack Auto Drive and spraying computer system GoTrack eSpray pro.

Designed to support the agricultural workforce by taking on strenuous tasks like carrying and towing produce, Burro robots can carry up to 350 kg of produce freeing up workers to stick to their value-add tasks like picking.

The HortNZ Conference in August was the first time the renowned autonomous robots were showcased in New Zealand. Kistler taking the opportunity to retrofit a Burro with Dataphyll’s real-time data and management software.

Not only could these automations improve health and safety with less heavy lifting for workers, they have the potential to boost staff morale with more transparency on picking metrics and quality control.

Dataphyll software allows each staff member to have their own individual tag which managers can use for picking insights, logging breaks, and highlighting best performing workers.

“Pickers are paid by volume of fruit picked. By having Dataphyll’s software out in the fields, they can see on-the-job how much fruit they’re picking and can be motivated by the transparency of how much they’re earning in a day's work,” says Kistler.

Plus, with workplace shortages an issue that’s top of mind across the agriculture industry, these automation solutions could help plug the gap. 

Pickers and managers can now see important details while out in the field including who has picked the produce and how much, where the produce has come from and what day and time.

Orchardists can also reduce wastage, manage low productivity areas, and receive real-time quality control notifications.

Founder of Agri Automation Chris Clifford says he’s excited to see the integrated tech on New Zealand farms and orchards. 

“The integration of Dataphyll software and an autonomous vehicle like the Burro alleviates the need for any trial and error practices and reduces manual labour for pickers and runners,” he says

“There’s certainly room for more kiwi agritech companies to collaborate, automate, and find more value-add solutions like this.”

 Agritech ITP Lead, Simon Yarrow says the partnership between Dataphyll and Agri Automation highlights the importance of agritech events to establish valuable connections that could lead to innovative industry solutions. 

“There’s so much power in the kinds of connections that are made at industry events, we see this so often with our market immersions and industry workshops,” he says.

“There’s also so much value in technology providers collaborating to solve problems that growers face and we hope to see more partnerships across the industry.”

Learn more about Dataphyll here:

Learn more about Agri Automation and see Burro in action here: