The Pöttinger SENSOSAFE is an assistance system for detecting and protecting wild animals in hay and silage grassland situations. By developing this system, the resourceful agricultural technology company has achieved another innovation first: an optical sensor bar is mounted directly on the mower or an intermediate frame. When a signal is sent to the mower’s hydraulics system, it automatically raises the front mower.
Several SENSOSAFE prototypes are being subjected to intensive testing during the 2020 season. Pöttinger claims that the feedback from the field has been extremely encouraging. The system saved the lives of a remarkably high number of animals.
The best forage – for the welfare of the animals
High quality mowing, clean raking and loss-free collection by the harvesting machines are all essential factors in livestock farming. Contamination caused by wild animals being killed and the resulting botulism must be prevented at all costs, according to Pöttinger.
In spring, when young roe deer and other small wild animals hide in high grass, they are particularly at risk during the first cut. Their natural reflex is to cower rather than run away. The engineers at Pöttinger took up this challenge and have developed an assistance system for detecting animals. SENSOSAFE is the first system of this kind in the world equipped with optical sensors. They work perfectly even in daylight and direct sunlight. The optical sensor bar is mounted directly on the front mower and/or on an intermediate bar.
Mowers raised – for the welfare of animals
SENSOSAFE sensors convert different wavelengths of light into an electrical signal. That is how SENSOSAFE detects a fawn or other small wild animal. The system immediately sends a signal to the mower hydraulics, which automatically raise the mower at lightning speed.
It also emits an acoustic signal so that the tractor driver can apply the brakes. There is also a second version for rear mowers that features a separate intermediate frame with a sensor bar mounted on the front hitch. In the working position it is folded outwards. The sensor bar covers the full working of the rear mounted mower.
There is a sufficiently large space between the sensor bar and the rear mower. When the system emits a signal (visual and audible), the driver can stop the tractor to get out of the cab and bring the animal out of the danger zone. The driver can also simply lift the rear mower and leave a small area uncut.