Whether as a result of accidents or sabotage: objects such as metals and stones or wild animals hidden in fields containing crops cause major financial losses in agriculture every year. This is measured in the damage to the machine, the time lost as a result and contaminated crop. This is why Florian and Benjamin Littau developed Erntewächter (= “harvest guard”), a sensor system that detects foreign bodies in fields and can thus prevent accidents with agricultural machinery. In contrast to conventional technologies, the sensor system also detects non-magnetic metals, stones and wild animals. Erntewächter is easy to use and is also characterised by its low level of wear and tear. It is weather-resistant and works with any crop. In this way, the system enables reliable detection and precise localisation of foreign bodies in the field.
As electrical engineers and physicists, the brothers had been discussing the topic of self-employment for some time. However, they initially had the industrial sector in mind. This changed when their brother-in-law, a farmer, asked them if sensor technology could be used to prevent harvest accidents in agriculture. “This idea had never occurred to us” laughs Florian Littau. However, after a moment’s thought, it was clear that this idea could work. And there is great demand: “We were surprised how many accidents of this type occur with agricultural machinery, how significant the material and financial damage is, and that there is also apparently no satisfactory technical solution” adds his brother Benjamin. But there could well be one for the next harvest season, because the prototype is already being developed.