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  • Satellite Evolution

Farmbot launches next generation satellite monitor

Farmbot, a leading provider of remote monitoring solutions for Australian agriculture, has launched its next generation satellite monitor which enables two-way communication between farm infrastructure and farmers via satellite connectivity.

Hot on the heels of the launch of the Farmbot Camera, the Farmbot Duplex Satellite Monitor is the central unit which will support the camera device and in the near future provide the ability for farmers to control pumps and gates.

Powered by Inmarsat’s IsatData Pro (IDP) service, the new generation monitor provides farmers with two-way messaging via satellite, elevating the Farmbot platform from a monitoring solution, to a management solution. Not only will farmers be able to monitor data collected by sensors, they will also be able to direct a course of action depending on the connected asset.

Andrew Coppin, Managing Director, Farmbot said the technology will have countless applications for farmers in Australia.

“It’s going to enable farmers to take an image, close a gate or turn on a pump, all without having to physically change locations, saving them time, money and enabling them to focus on other matters," he said.

“Additionally, because the technology leverages satellites, the functionality can be accessed from anywhere at any time, mitigating the cellular connectivity issue that has hampered some on-farm technology adoption.”

Although two-way communications via satellite has been possible before, this is the first time it will be made readily available at an affordable ongoing price for Australian farmers.

According to Mr Coppin, the Duplex Satellite Monitor will create boundless possibilities for on-farm connectivity for primary producers.

“This next generation unit will be the workhorse for the farm of the future,” Mr Coppin said.

“Not only will producers be able to communicate directly with our own products like the soon-to-be-released Farmbot Camera, but the vision is that Duplex Satellite Monitor forms the backbone of an entire open, connected farm ecosystem,” he said.

Steven Tompkins, Director of Sector Development at Inmarsat said: “Satellite connectivity is the way forward for Australian agriculture. We are pleased to be able to support the Farmbot Duplex Satellite Monitor technology, which is enabled by Inmarsat’s IsatData Pro (IDP) service. The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) has been hamstrung in Australian agriculture by inconsistent and unreliable cellular connectivity. This partnership between Farmbot, Inmarsat and our Australian distributor, Pivotel, changes everything and opens up a new world of possibilities for Australian agriculture.”

Peter Bolger, CEO of Pivotel, one of Australia’s leading critical communications providers says this product represents a unique opportunity for Australian farmers.

“We are incredibly excited to see this product reach Australian primary producers. The Farmbot Duplex Satellite Monitor brings together best-in-breed global innovation and local Australian ingenuity. Affordable, always-on remote monitoring was once a pipe dream for Australian farmers. Now, it is a reality,” he said.

Though powered by the Inmarsat IDP service, the technology has been tailored for its application in Australian agriculture by a team of local engineers based in Farmbot’s R&D facility in Sydney.

The new unit will retain all the unique functional benefits of the previous generation including a robust housing built to withstand Australian weather extremes, ‘plug-and-play’ simplicity with set-up and install taking approximately 10 minutes, satellite and cellular functionality and a solar-powered battery with up to a week of power storage.


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