(EDITOR’S NOTE: Pöttinger’s Sensosafe Animal Detection will be available sometime the next few years here in the United States. It is still in it’s infancy and is currently in testing as prototype in Austria.)

Pöttinger has developed the world’s first mower-mounted automatic animal detection system. Developed for detecting fawns and ensuring clean forage, Pöttinger’s SENSOSAFE is an optical infra-red sensor that is fitted to the mower to detect fawns lying in the grass in front of the mower, unseen by the driver.

When SENSOSAFE detects a fawn, it transmits a signal to the hydraulics to immediately raise the mower fully automatically. The fawn is unharmed. The sensors have been developed especially for this application and provide optimum detection even in broad daylight and in direct sunlight. Using an optical sensor means that the system can detect the fawn or other wild animal and differentiate between other obstacles, such as molehills.

Fawns are especially at risk when the mowing season starts since they hide in the grass. In the face of danger, young fawns don’t normally run away, but instead duck down even further in the grass. Drivers have virtually no chance of seeing the fawns. Unfortunately, many are struck by the mower’s blades, killing or wounding them badly.

Apart from the enormous financial loss and the fact that no farmer wants to harm young animals in this way, having carcass parts in hay or straw is a danger to the livestock who will later consume the contaminated forage. Botulinum toxins can form, which can be fatal for livestock.

Pöttinger received a silver innovation award at Agritechnica 2017 for the SENSOSAFE system.