A product's brand can set it apart in the market and help buyers better understand what a company is offering. The challenge is bringing together different products under a single umbrella that makes sense for buyers. Raven Autonomy has been acquiring driverless ag technology with different brands, but that ends today. There's a new umbrella brand for the line and new names for the tools that are already part of what will be a growing stable of products over the next few years.
The umbrella brand is OMNi. "We're really excited about a number of different things we have going on at Raven Autonomy," says Dominic Walkes, director of strategic initiatives for Raven. "The brand we're rolling out under the OMNi prefix really ties our portfolio together and helps to provide the entire solution from top to bottom for the farmer."
He explains that whether a farmer is working to bring autonomy to an existing machine or bring autonomous equipment to the farm, Raven offers both under the OMNi brand. The two most widely known products get renamed as part of this new branding effort. These are products Raven acquired in 2019, including Dot Technology from Seedmaster and AutoCart from SmartAg.
The new OMNi prefix ties those two brands together under a single strategy. As Walkes explains, Raven Autonomy is pioneering technology advancements in the ag market to offer a complete path to autonomy for creation of a connected, coordinated and fully optimized farm. The name — derived from Latin where omni means "all or every" — suggests integration of physical and digital channels to provide a unified customer experience.
It does bring new brands to market, under that umbrella. The Dot Technology autonomous system becomes OMNiPOWER. AutoCart becomes OMNiDRIVE under the new system.
"We're working to pioneer technology advancements in the agriculture market to offer agricultural professionals a complete path to autonomy," he says. "We feel OMNi pulls that together with our OMNiDRIVE and OMNiPOWER technology."
And these new tools will be demonstrated during the 2021 Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days. Farmers will get a chance to watch both the OMNiPOWER and OMNiDRIVE technologies at work during both shows.
Investment in autonomy
Walkes explains that Raven is making some "bold investments" in autonomy, and the company sees it as a progression and an interest in higher levels of machine automation. "That journey will take time, but we intend to lead the way over that time," Walkes says. "We're excited about the products we have today, and we continue to make strong investments in products in the future."
And the investment continues. Recently, Raven acquired the intellectual property of Jaybridge Robotics, which includes patents for technology related to path-planning, obstacle detection and avoidance, and multi-machine control systems.
Walkes notes farmers can get into the driverless technology today with OMNiDRIVE to run your grain cart during fall harvest of 2021. It's a tool that can open new ways for one farmer to harvest grain more efficiently, too.
With labor shortages, this technology is getting greater attention. The issue got worse during the pandemic, as international workers have not been able to come into the United States. Bringing more attention to these kinds of tools.
"This year we're seeing all sorts of challenges with the labor force," Walkes says, which has equipment sitting idle on farms. "Having the ability to augment their workforce with something [like this] we really feel has a strong value proposition."
The machine that gets a lot of attention is OMNiPOWER, formerly Dot, which Walkes says is being sold to the market for 2021. In fact, he estimates the company will sell out of production for this season. Raven is concentrating sales to broad-acre farms in western Canada and the western United States. Today there are two attachments for the machine — a New Leader spreader and a sprayer from Pattison.
During the 2020 season with Dot, Raven continued to refine the operating software and add new features to the machine. One area that got faster attention is multi-machine operation in the same field. "We are bringing that to market in 2021," Walkes says. "That's something the farmers who tested the machine wanted."
Farm autonomy is evolving, and Raven Autonomy is looking ahead with its OMNi brand. Learn more at ravenprecision.com/autonomy.