Autonomous Tractors Could Work in Wetter Conditions than Traditional Tractors

March 20th is the first day of spring, making spring much closer than even I expected. On the farm I grew up on in Minnesota there were considerable fears when it comes to this time of year. Of course, early warm weather is a nice surprise but that might be followed with a late snow storm. By far and above the worst condition in spring is warm weather and good soil temps but wet soil. Everything is ready to go but because of the weight of your machinery you don’t dare drive into your field. One day soon this fear might be a thing of the past thanks to several agricultural automation companies.

One such company is Agrointelli out of Aarhus, Denmark, which has been researching and building their solution called the Robotti. This modular autonomous implement carrier uses a diesel engine to power its four powered wheels. The unit only weighs 1,323 lbs. (600 Kg) and has a three-point hitch capable of lifting 1,653 lbs. (750 Kg). The unit is not fast, with a top speed of 5 mph (8 km/h), but with field operations in mind you obviously don’t need anything faster than that.

Operated by a phone or tablet this system can be easily deployed in the field by utilizing smaller existing implements. The device is compact and unlike traditional tractors the system hooks up around the implement, providing even weight distribution through the tires of the unit. It is also capable of low draft force operations like weed control in a large variety of row crops. The weight distribution in combination with the total weight make this machine able to operate in wetter conditions that would stop heavier tractors or cause severe soil compaction.

The company is currently improving the design and software and researching an all-electric version of the Robotti. While the company refines this system they are also focused on what their core products of agricultural navigation software and autonomous navigation tools. These two products make designing their own autonomous tractor an easy choice. The Agrointelli envisions an integrated network where all farm equipment, including drones, communicate and share information to make a more informed and effective farm operation.

On top of this, the company’s team of 15 personnel is working on a weed-targeting camera called RoboWeedCamRT. Using advanced machine learning, the system is able to identify weeds and weed populations in the field during spraying operations. This would enable the sprayer to adjust the dose depending on weed pressure.

This is some interesting outside the box thinking but it will be a while before this technology will be common place. Agrointelli does not currently list a price for their Robotti or if they have import plans for the U.S. Until then well have to keep farming the way we did last year.

Leave a Reply

Tools & Smart Equipment Stories
Grower Retaile iPad
Data ManagementRobust Crop Scouting Requires Advanced Data Collection
April 2, 2018
Disclaimer: I have never been a crop scout. My intolerance for insects insinuating themselves in places that are competing for Read More
DronesSentera Adds RTK Corrections to Fixed Wing Drone
March 22, 2018
Sentera announces the general release of its RTK GPS precision positioning module for the PHX Pro fixed-wing drone. The module Read More
Tools & Smart EquipmentMachine Learning: The Secret Sauce of Precision Agriculture for Fighting Crop Diseases
February 13, 2018
With the development of agricultural technologies, crop and plant diseases have been advancing as well, causing degradation of both quality Read More
AmericasPrecision Farming Companies to Watch in 2018 (OPINION)
January 17, 2018
My friends, as many of you told me repeatedly throughout the last 12 months, 2017 was an interesting year in Read More
Trending Articles
Data ManagementThe Precipitation Problem in Agriculture
April 17, 2018
Precipitation is arguably the most important agricultural weather parameter, yet it is the most difficult variable to precisely measure. For Read More
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Services
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
CROO Robotics’ automated strawberry harvester
Robotics/Labor SaversSpecialty Crops: Get in Gear Now for Agriculture’s Robotic Revolution
April 11, 2018
While the immigration debate rages on in Washington, DC, with little chance for reform in sight, the uncertain labor picture Read More
Business ManagementDelivering on Ag Data Value
April 3, 2018
Bruce Baier is another deeply experienced precision agriculture manager who survived the early years of ag technology while riding the Read More
Business Management25 Best Colleges for Precision Agriculture
March 21, 2018
Choosing the right college is a process. It’s one that I’m just now embarking on with my teenage daughter. Long Read More
Decision Support SoftwareOpinion: The Missing Link in Precision Agriculture
March 15, 2018
The agtech boom over the last two years is indeed astonishing. Farmers are becoming more open to new, emerging technologies Read More