AGCO taps mobility software experts Apex.AI for robotic planting concept

Apex.AIa company developing certified security software for mobility and autonomous applications, states that AGCOa global manufacturer and distributor of agricultural machinery and precision farming technology, adds new functionality to its Fendt Xaver concept vehicle, an autonomous agricultural robot, by integrating Apex.OS, a software development kit (SDK).

Apex.AI enabled AGCO’s engineering team to integrate several autonomous driving components into the Fendt Xaver within a tight deadline, including lidar object detection, collision checking and planning, in using the state-of-the-art framework and development tools that come with Apex .OS.

This technical partnership expands an existing relationship between the two companies. In December 2021, AGCO announced a strategic investment in Apex.AI.

Christian Kelber, Director of Engineering at AGCO, said, “Apex.OS is a foundational software framework and development kit for rapidly developing advanced autonomous capabilities.

“Technology has helped AGCO shorten R&D times for our smart farming solutions and for the future of highly automated robots. Originating from the automotive industry, Apex.AI allows us to implement safety-critical applications from autonomous driving that can be deployed in our suite of solutions globally.

The award-winning Fendt Xaver autonomous robot concept, developed by Fendt as part of a research project, sows seeds on farms around the clock with centimeter precision using Apex.OS software. The Fendt Xaver uses 90% less energy than conventional machines due to its lightweight electric design, which produces zero emissions.

AGCO leveraged Apex.OS to develop a software stack for Xaver based on automotive industry standards, extending its real-time autonomous capabilities. A cloud-connected fleet of Fendt Xaver robots is app-controlled and provides real-time data from each unit, including location, status and diagnostics.

Jan Becker, co-founder and CEO of Apex.AI, says, “We are taking our success in the automotive and autonomous driving industry and applying it to areas that have similar functional safety needs such as agriculture, industry, mining and construction.

“Apex.OS enables the software architecture to be modular, scalable and secure, enabling customers to transition their R&D projects to market-ready products in record time.”

There is a growing trend towards autonomy in agriculture, and designing and deploying a safe autonomous system is a complex and time-consuming task.

Apex.AI helps its agricultural, automotive and industrial customers extract the complexity of software-defined vehicles and machines with Apex.OS, which achieved the highest level of ISO 26262 ASIL-D automotive software safety last year.

By bridging the gap between R&D and production-grade solutions, customers using Apex.OS can overcome real-time software and reliability challenges at record pace.

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Margie D. Carlisle