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Intelligent cotton topping robots busy working at cotton fields in NW China’s Xinjiang

Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily (Reporter Zhao Yue) news: On July 2, 2024, a tractor equipped with an intelligent cotton topping robot entered the cotton field at a demonstration base for high-efficiency water-saving agriculture of Xinjiang Tianye (Group) Co., Ltd. in Shihezi City, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. And the robot skillfully removed the cotton tops with its mechanical arms.

"The 2024 model of the intelligent cotton topping robot has been developed and is being promoted for the first time on a large scale in Xinjiang this year," said Liu Zheng, the founder of Shenzhen Weier Technology Co., Ltd.

As a company settled in the Yida Innovation Village, which offers a platform for innovation, Shenzhen Weier Technology Co., Ltd. has been continuously testing and improving its robots in the cotton fields of Xinjiang for three years. The technology has become increasingly mature, with this year's operation orders exceeding 6670 hectares. Later days, it will be working on about 2,001 hectares of cotton fields in Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Photo taken on July 2, 2024 shows a tractor equipped with an intelligent cotton topping robot enters the cotton field at a demonstration base for high-efficiency water-saving agriculture of Xinjiang Tianye (Group) Co., Ltd. in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo by Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily/ Zhao Yue)

During the period of cotton growth , water and nutrients are preferentially supplied to the top. Topping can reduce the ineffective consumption of nutrients and allow more nutrients to be transported to the buds and bolls, leading to early flowering, early boll setting, larger bolls thereby increasing yield and farmer’s income. At the same time, cotton topping must be completed between June and July.

As a major cotton planting area in the country, Xinjiang has now fully achieved mechanization in processes such as sowing, mulching, irrigation, and picking. In the past, cotton topping is still mainly manual work, with relatively low efficiency.

According to Liu Zheng, one person can top about 0.27 hectares of cotton field in a day, while a Weier intelligent cotton topping robot can work on about 13.34 hectares in a day, with a topping efficiency 40 to 50 times that of manual work.

In the cotton field trials, robots can not only work at high speed, around the clock, and for a long time, but also have features such as one-button start, cutting at different heights, convenient transportation and transfer, meeting the power requirements for field work, and flexible towing. The robots also simulate manual topping actions and achieve works that require high precision and high efficiency, providing efficient topping for large field cotton.

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