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Duxton Vineyards, Wine Australia and Smart Machine collaborate on Australia-first trial of the latest robotic tractor technology

02 Feb 2024
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Duxton Vineyards expansive Euston vineyard in Sunraysia is hosting an Australian-first trial of the autonomous multi-function vineyard tractor OXIN by Smart Machine.

OXIN is the world’s first fully autonomous, multi-tasking robotic vineyard tractor, with the trial at Duxton Vineyards being the first time that the technology has been used in Australia following Smart Machine’s success in its home market of New Zealand.

Supported by Wine Australia’s agtech innovation program, the trial will put the OXIN robotic tractor to the test under Australian conditions at Duxton’s 900 ha vineyard, demonstrating newly automated tasks while providing valuable insights into vineyard operations through advanced data analysis. 

The partnership between Duxton Vineyards, Wine Australia and Smart Machine combines expertise and resources, helping the local grape and wine sector to be at the forefront of agtech trends and innovation. 

Speaking on the partnership, Duxton Vineyards’ General Manager Wayne Ellis said, "As one of Australia's largest vineyards holders and a leader in sustainable agriculture and wine production, Duxton Vineyards is committed to implementing innovative technology that positively contributes to the environment. By being the first local wine producer to trial the OXIN by Smart Machine, we are continuing our sustainability journey and doing our part to evolve farming and viticulture practices in Australia.”

Designed by Smart Machine engineer Walter Langlois and product designers Andrew Kersley and Nick Gledhill, OXIN can complete tasks including mowing, mulching and trimming, as well as weed and canopy spraying with the aid of robotics and artificial intelligence – all while being managed by a single operator with a user-friendly tablet software. 

In addition to improved precision, efficiency and safety, OXIN also reduces some of the environmental impact usually seen in tractors, with the machine requiring fewer row passes, making less soil compaction and an overall reduction in emissions.

The technology complements the existing workforce, enabling the vineyard team to focus on higher value tasks.

Commenting on OXIN’s first trial in the Australian market, Smart Machine CEO Andrew Kersley said, "We are committed to delivering innovative solutions for the agriculture industry and are excited to take this important step towards achieving that goal with Duxton Vineyards and Wine Australia. This partnership presents an opportunity to showcase OXIN’s capabilities and how it can revolutionise the way that we approach viticulture. The OXIN machine being trialled by Duxton Vineyards has been designed to do different tasks to the original machines developed for the NZ market, accommodating for the differences in landscape and climate, which is also really exciting.”

Dave Gerner, Program Manager – Regional Innovation at Wine Australia said on the collaboration, “With a key focus on investing in research and innovation for the local wine sector, Wine Australia is delighted to be a part of the OXIN trial in partnership with Duxton Vineyards. By contributing to the exploration of new technologies, we are further advancing our mission to keep Australia’s wine business both profitable and sustainable. We look forward to reviewing the results of the trial and how Smart Machine’s technology will be of benefit to further producers across Australia's wine regions."

The Australia-first OXIN trial will continue into 2024.

Mildura agtech workshop 2023

In December 2023, Wine Australia hosted an agtech workshop in Mildura to provide an update on the latest innovations from around the world and discuss the challenges and opportunities for agtech in Australia to co-design solutions.  

Watch the video from the workshop, which included a visit to Duxton's vineyard to view OXIN and hear from their team.



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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.