Renu Robotics is conducting a seed raise of investment capital for the continued development of a multi-use autonomous maintenance tractor to serve the expanding solar farm industry. Renu Robotics, based in San Antonio, already has a prototype in development that can autonomously perform daily vegetation maintenance of solar farms. New models will mow, spray for weeds and insects, clean panels and perform equipment inspections. The tractors require minimal maintenance compared to gas mowers and will save solar companies 30 to 50% on maintenance costs.
“The initial prototype came together beautifully and we are projecting performance that will exceed expectations,” said Tim Matus, president and CEO. “We’re excited about the prospects of the RenuBot maintenance tractor and plan to have tractors maintaining solar farms later this year.”
Each robotic tractor has GPS and stored maps of the surrounding area along with multiple sensors, ultrasonics and lidar to determine direction, position, speed, movement and nearby water or other hazards. Other sensors monitor temperature, humidity, noise and acceleration that allow the tractor to work non-stop. The RenuBot, which runs on the sun’s energy and returns itself to its own docking bay for charging after maintaining the grounds at night, will strive to improve on autonomous models currently on the market with several enhancements.
The Renu Robotics tractor provides the automation to safely and efficiently maneuver through the solar farm without human intervention. The tractor has wireless connectivity to allow for full-time monitoring and can be fitted with different mountings to perform a variety of services. Each tractor will operate on electrical power and require daily or periodic charging. Lithium battery modules can be added to provide the optimal amount of power needed for challenging topography or to increase run time. The initial tractor design includes a mowing system that uses blades and motors for cutting tall grass, and the cutting deck can be moved up and down to set grass height or tilted to maneuver around varying levels throughout the facility.
The company plans to raise more than $2 million for this new product.