Autonomous vineyard tractors solve more than labour crisis I Andrew Kersley, Smart Machine


What was a lifestyle move from Auckland to Marlborough for an industrial engineer marks the start of a new era of technological advancement in vineyards with Smart Machine’s, Oxin.


Deep knowledge of what is happening amongst the vines is now able to be collected in the process of carrying out standard tasks on vineyards such as mowing, mulching, leaf removal and trimming.

“If you can be solving a fundamental industry problem, your value proposition ends up looking pretty good,” Andrew Kersley, CEO, Smart Machine.



As a Change Maker in Sarah’s Country this week, Andrew explains:

  • Labour shortages for manual tasks in vineyards were apparent prior to Covid, but the design problem was more than a shortage of hands but the consistency of the outcome of humans.

  • The artificial intelligence of the Oxin autonomous tractor can collect data on the health and yield of the plants whilst it carries out the tasks providing the hardware for the ecosystem of decision making for growers.

His opinion’s on data sovereignty and interoperability “We need to be developing ecosystems that are beneficial for the growers as a whole, not trying to own our own little pieces of it”


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