RoHand II

 At Plum Creek Farm, we grow ever-bearing strawberries that we begin harvesting at the end of May and continue until frost causes the plants to go dormant. This means many months of picking strawberries on a daily basis. Having a piece of equipment to assist in this process can turn an otherwise backbreaking and mundane task into an enjoyable job.

Since there was not a commercially available machine to meet the wish list that we had, we set out to design and a develop our own machine. After a winter of many mistakes and expensive learning experiences, we produced two working prototypes that we are using this year. The operator lies face down, in a prone position. This provides great visibility and access to the work space and eliminates a lot of sore backs that are normally associated with vegetable farming. We plan to use the RoHand II with for a variety of crops like strawberries, onions, asparagus, green beans, and applications including planting, weeding, pruning, harvesting, etc.

 While these prototypes still need a year of "real, in the field" testing, we are excited about the early feedback.

The RoHand II is power by dual 24 volt, DC gear motors. This direct drive power is delivered to both front tires. The aggressive, bar-type tread will power through almost any field condition. 

A disengage lever on the motor allows the RoHand II to be taken out of gear to be pushed or towed in the event of a mechanical failure.

Large diameter rear tires roll easily through mud or heavy organic matter, reducing the wattage load on the drive system.

A power steering actuator allows the operator to control steering of the RoHand via a foot pedal. This keeps both hands free at all times and makes staying centered on the row a breeze. A sharp turning radius makes turning around at the end of a row quick and easy.

The picking tray is located directly in from of the operator, within easy reach of both hands. The tray can be adjusted to keep it close to the crop that is being harvested, minimizing the amount of time it take to place a picked item in the tray.

Travel speed and steering are controlled via foot switches leaving both of the operator's hands free harvesting, weeding, planting, pruning, etc. A high quality foot throttle and control system, give the operator precision control over the speed of the machine.

The travel speed of the RoHand II can be varied from a scarcely-moving crawl to a brisk clip. This allows the machine to be driven from one location to another in a short time.

The unique design of the operator platform and headrest provide great visibility and maneuverability. The platform can quickly and easily be adjusted for different height crops and different size operators. 

The padded forehead rest wraps around the operator's forehead to comfortably support the operators head and neck. 

A "wide-open" frame design gives plenty of clearance for a wide variety of crops and applications. The wheels spacing can be adjusted to several widths to accommodate different row spacing

A roof mounted solar panel provides the charging power for the Lithium-ion battery system. The solar panel is constantly charging the battery during daylight hours so the RoHand II is always ready to work.

In the event that the solar charger doesn't keep pace with the utilization of power, the Lithium-ion battery pack can be removed and recharged with a 115 volt wall charger. 

The Lithium-ion battery pack weighs much less and will provide many more charge/discharge cycles than a lead acid type of battery system.

Trays at the rear of the RoHand II provide room for the operator to store additional flats of product while protecting them from the rain or sun.

Most of the adjustments to the RoHand II can be done quickly and easily without the need for wrenches or tools. This makes changing operators or applications an efficient process.

While the RoHand II is not yet available to purchase, we invite you to contact us for more information or to learn if you could qualify for our early adopter program.