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DUXTON VINEYARDS, WINE AUSTRALIA AND SMART MACHINE COLLABORATE ON AUSTRALIA-FIRST TRIAL OF THE LATEST ROBOTIC TRACTOR TECHNOLOGY

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OXIN, an autonomous, multi-functional vineyard tractor.

Duxton Vineyards, one Australia’s largest vineyard holders with over 26 different varietals on vine in the Mildura and Sunraysia regions has teamed up with Wine Australia and Smart Machine for the Australia-first trial of OXIN, an autonomous, multi-functional vineyard tractor.

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 utilised 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 OXIN to the test under Australian conditions at Duxton’s expansive Euston vineyard, with the technology providing valuable insights into vineyard operations through advanced data analysis. The partnership between Smart Machine, Duxton Vineyards and Wine Australia 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, the trio have successfully produced a fully autonomous robotic vineyard tractor that can undertake all the mechanised tractor tasks in this space. OXIN can complete multiple tasks such as mowing, mulching and trimming, as well as weed and canopy spraying with the aid of revolutionary robotics and artificial intelligence – all while being managed by a single operator via user-friendly tablet software. OXIN improves precision, efficiency and safety, as well as minimising environmental impact. The technology also 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.”

In addition to benefits which include reduced costs and data analysis to inform operational decisions, OXIN promotes sustainable solutions, with the machine requiring fewer row passes, making less soil compaction and demonstrating an overall reduction in emissions.

The Australia-first OXIN trial is currently underway at the 900ha Euston vineyard located near Balranald and Robinvale, and will continue into 2024.

For more information on Duxton Vineyards, visit: https://duxtonvineyards.com.au/

For more information on OXIN, visit: https://www.oxin.nz/

For more information on Wine Australia, visit: https://www.wineaustralia.com/

About Duxton Vineyards: Duxton Vineyards is one Australia’s largest vineyard holders with over 26 different varietals on vine in the Mildura and Sunraysia regions in New South Wales, in addition to a large, modernised winery. Owning and operating over 2,400 hectares of vineyards, Duxton Vineyards has almost unrivalled sourcing capability. Duxton Vineyards is a firm advocate for sustainable wine production and seeks to assist in reversing agriculture’s adverse contribution to Australia’s environment by applying regenerative farming practices to the land it operates. Duxton Vineyards proudly produces Rewild, Solara, Pete’s Pure, Twill & Daisy and Brave to be Murray. For more information, please visit https://duxtonvineyards.com.au/

About Smart Machine: Smart Machine, formed in 2018 by Walter Langlois, Andrew Kersley and Nick Gledhill, aims to use smart tech and automation to address fundamental labour and operational challenges within horticulture industries. The Company’s flagship technology, Oxin, is a fully Autonomous Vineyard Tractor designed and developed according to our guiding principles: safer operation, improved operational efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and more data for better decisions. Oxin is currently available for sale in New Zealand and is being trialled in Australia, with plans to launch into the US market. Visit: https://www.oxin.nz/ for more information.

About Wine Australia: Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research and innovation (R&I), growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine. Wine Australia is an Australian Commonwealth Government statutory authority, established under the Wine Australia Act 2013, and funded by grape growers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges and the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for R&I investments. Visit www.wineaustralia.com for more information.

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