While cruising around the 2017 Diesel Dirt and Turf expo back in April, we came across a quirky little tractor that looked more like a character from Star Wars than a genuine farm machine. As it turns out, the tractor is not only useful but completely operational via remote control.
Displayed by Hillside Tractors Australia (HTA), the robot, who’s name is Herbhy (nope, that’s not a typo), certainly has its design game on point.
If you’re wondering about the oddly placed lady bug in the top right corner of the image, it comes straight from the manufacturer and is part of Herbhy’s branding. Hymach is an Italian company and HTA are the first to bring Herbhy to Australia.
When it comes to describing their robotic tractor, Hymach appear to have a thing for animal comparisons:
Herbhy isn’t small because he lacks power, he’s small because he doesn’t have to waste space housing a human. He is equipped with a solid 40hp engine and his power system has been structured so as to be able to handle slopes of up to 55 degrees with consistent performance and no worries about overheating.
The turtle connection comes in with Hymach’s shell-like protection for their lion-like engine. This is an important feature which keeps fibers, debris and fragments from flicking up where they can damage the machine.
Continuing their animal analogies, Hymach explain Herbhy has the ability to master almost any slope with the power of a rhino and the agility of a mountain goat. His unique capabilities, and lack of a driver to worry about, make him perfect for a range of terrains with popular applications including (but not limited to):
- banks and escarpments along highways and waterways;
- park lands and camping grounds;
- fire strips along railway lines;
- military fields;
- energy plants;
- sports facilities.
The bird appears to be related to the machine’s ability to focus in on the land state and adjust its action accordingly. The precision cutting tool works with hydraulic actuators and an adjustable system which allows you to calibrate the machine depending on the tool head you’re using.
And the chameleon exemplifies Herbhy’s versatility. Just as a chameleon can change shape and colour on a whim, Herbhy comes with interchangeable heads to help you complete all sorts of tasks including earth moving, fire fighting and a variety of agriculture and forestry applications.
This bird relates to the remote control system which straps comfortably onto your hips (we got to try it out at the DDT expo and it is a nice ergonomic fit). How it relates to a bird we’re not sure. Perhaps because it’s light and easy and leaves you free to move around while you work?
The butterflies are somehow relevant to the fact that Herbhy is customisable to suit your needs. There are all sorts of colour variants, including camouflage, and a variety of accessories and other design elements you can have added or removed, depending on your requirements.
While some of their animal references may have been dubious, Herbhy is definitely an impressive little machine.