EXXACT Robotics Spot Spray Sensor technology threatens to disrupt current systems

Through their EXXACT Robotics subsidiary the Exel Industries group is planning to guide spray applicators to the point where it will take minimal product to disperse every weed in the paddock

Chemical inputs are drastically reduced while optimising crop yields with no loss of productivity with sprayer application speeds up to 25kph

EXXACT Robotics expects to facilitate worldwide agricultural spray transformation through its innovative 3S Spot Spray Sensor technology that will allow reduced herbicide use, offer better conservation of soil and adapt for expected climate change.

All over the world, agriculture is going through a fundamental transformation of its practices arising from environmental concerns as pressure from public opinion and authorities builds.

Exel industries group is already a global leader in spraying with some of the best-known brands under its manufacture and control, including Agrifac, Apache, Berthoud, Evrard, Hardi and Tecnoma

Excel’s 3S Spot Spray Sensor technology will carry these badges forward with an eye on agro-ecological transformation. The need for innovation is now accelerating quickly and confirms the group’s concerns first raised in 2019 when the birth of EXXACT Robotics was announced as a dedicated subsidiary for preci­sion agriculture.

Since that time, EXXACT Robotics has rapidly structured itself under the direction of Colin Chaballier, to build a team of expert engineers in robotics, artificial intelligence, mechatronics and agronomy. To a point where EXXACT Robotics now has 25 of the leading experts and continues to recruit people with high level skill sets.

The objective of EXXACT Robotics is clear: To develop and provide growers with innovative, pragmatic and sustainable technological solutions that will transition agricultural to higher production levels, and safely for the environment.

The EXXACT Robotics solution that will be deployed on all the spraying equipment brands manufactured by the EXEL Industries group such as its high capacity Agrifac models

Agricultural transition being shaped by global policies

Growers busily running vast operations across broadacres around the globe are quite rightly focussed on their job, and not necessarily conscious that the world of consumers is actually watching them closely, as those consumers become more aware of what product they are prepared to eat.

As early as 2015, the United Nations set sustainable development goals to be achieved in 2050. And now for the first time, the notion of sustainability is added to the global development objectives that growers are expected to meet.

Agriculture has almost overnight been lumbered with much higher responsibilities as consumers become directly concerned with sustainability goals and at the coalface are growers whose role it is to provide a source of food that will have minimal potential impact on the ecosystem and climate.

The Paris Climate Agreement, signed by 195 countries at COP21 in Paris underlined the importance of agriculture in maintaining global food security while emphasising adaptation to climate change.

Then to reinforce what will be expected from growers into the future – the COP22 in Glasgow – the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties, has sorted out the willing and those that are prepared to take a risk that the world market will continue to reward those in agriculture that continue to ignore the protocols that consumers expect.

Plenty of high-end markets will be lost to growers that ignore the potential that agriculture offers in being able to help mitigate unnecessary climate change. Farming will be expected to take a leading role in climate change, and in doing so will need to overcome its vulnerability to climate issues.

For local growers and producers, the market we need to crack is European consumers to ensure we reach the target of Ag2030, $100 billion in farm gate produce by 2030.

These consumers are at the forefront of a Green Pact that clearly aims at the end of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for a sustainable future. Among the 11 distinct policies of the Green Deal, the “Farm to Fork” compo­nent specifically concerns agriculture.

The very first objective of “Farm to Fork” is quite explicit: “Reduce the ecological and climate footprint of the food system” placing environmental impact of agriculture at the centre. If local growers or politicians they vote for don’t grasp this concept, give up on the aim of $100 billion by 2030 now.

To get an insight into our proposed new customer base, this is what European consumers expect from their own farmers by 2050:

Reduce the use and risks of chemical pesticides by 50%

Reduce nutrient losses by at least 50%, while ensuring no deterioration of soil fertility; this will reduce fertiliser use by at least 20%.

Achieve organic farming in at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land and in organic farming.

The 3S Spot Spray system is well integrated into the sprayer boom to improve boom efficiency and ensure spot spraying eliminates 80% of the previous level of chemicals

Precision spraying gets us part way

With the global population chanting at the bit as it reaches 10 billion people in 2050, world food production must increase from current levels to meet demand. The production of cereal crops alone will need to rise from 2.7 to 3.5 billion tonnes every year.

And the obvious challenge to meeting that target in less than 30 years now, is also tarnished with an expected drastic reduction in agricultural inputs, such as chemicals as the effort to preserve ecosystems needs to be matched with much higher outputs. Something that up until now has not been possible, chemicals are the great driver of increased farm produce, without a second thought to health or soil pollution.

It is a colossal challenge and one that is not achievable in our own marketplace without some obvious mindset changes.

However, if the powers that be will forgive us, and we were to look at agricultural changes in Europe as an example of what can be achieved, there is hope.

Between 1970 and 2020, agricultural production has doubled in Europe, while applied chemical inputs have reduced by two-thirds in the same period.

As a world leader in spraying technologies, Excel Industries group is an entity that comes to us deeply invested in coming up with advanced technology solutions for precision application that keeps their own niche in farming relevant.

The group has a PR application known for corny phrases and there is no exception in this instance.

The PR company’s latest interaction asks us to credit Excel Industries as taking “the right dose, in the right place, at the right time” philosophy. Let’s put that dribble aside, and instead focus on what we can attribute to Excel Industries on a whole new level. A very significant improved in the precision and quality of product application in the paddock with much reduced chemical inputs.

These are highly credible results achieved through anti-drift spray nozzles, variable flow rates in relation to sprayer speed, with a system that avoids over-lap or skips, turn-compensation, with accurate GPS based navigation assured.

The most recent advancement from Exel industries group’s EXXACT Robotics builds on those innovations to precisely target the weeds by visually recognising them and eradicating them. The cumulative result of these advancements will reduce chemical inputs by as much as 80%, worldwide.

EXXACT Robotics set itself an ambitious goal to develop a reliable technological solution for precision spraying that could be applied for farmers around the world

How 3S Spot Spray Sensor technology works

EXXACT Robotics is leading the pack because it has developed a technological solution for collecting and analysing images in real time. This is through artificial intelligence able to detect biological aggressors such as weeds, diseases, pests and at the same time determine fertiliser deficiencies.

This is all achieved with high-precision on-board sensors anchored to the 3S Spot Spray Sensor technology and this allows instant data acquisition and real time analysis.

From that point, the information is sent to the sprayer product control system that is set-up to deliver the exact dose at pin-point precision.

EXXACT Robotics has succeeded in developing their fully integrated technology through all the spray booms of the equipment that is manufactured by the Exel Industries group.

The application can be used on weeds on bare ground as well as maturing crops, day and night and up to working speeds of 25kph.

The first booms equipped with the 3S Spot Spray Sensor technology can be ordered now and will be in the market at the end of 2022 for herbicide application. This solution will then be progressively advanced and offered on all equipment from the Exel Industries group brands.

The 3S Spot Spraying system will extensively take care of itself with little operator input required and this will lead to an eventual fully autonomous application with no operator in sight

Configurations adapted to all sprayers

The 3S Spot Spray Sensor technology will be a solution adapted to all spraying requirements both for phytosanitary products as well as fertilisation, and will be adaptable to be used by all spray boom configurations.

For Low density: a sensor positioned every 3 metres (10ft), for high precision on most systems. Ideal for section cutting.

For High density: one sensor every metre (3.3ft), for optimal precision and much better management of shadows in row crops. Ideal for spraying at the nozzle.

Extensive testing and validation for global deployment

Developed in close collaboration with the well-known brands of the Exel Industries group, badges such as Agrifac, Apache, Berthoud, Evrard, Hardi and Tecnoma, the 3S Spot Spray Sensor technology will be progressively deployed on every spray boom.

The first sprayers equipped with the 3S Spot Spray Sensor technology will be available for delivery at the end of 2022.

The first sprayers to be offered by the Exel Industries group will be optimised for the use of herbicides. In parallel, EXXACT Robotics will continue developments to meet these further schedules:


Introduction of targeted application of fertilisers and other nutrients


Introduction of targeted application of fungicides

2026 Introduction of targeted application of insecticides