Robo-Tractor: The Autonomous Agricultural Vehicle

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Listen up, city slickers, because you`re about to get a lesson in farming technology.

A company called Case IH in Idaho has definitely reaped what they sowed and designed an autonomous tractor, which acts a lot like a crop-tending Roomba.

The tractor, which resembles a sci-fi space craft, would allow farmers to remotely monitor their crops while the machines till, plant, spray, and harvest their fields by using RADAR, LIDAR, and high-tech camera sensors to keep it on the right track.

“As we continue to change in this industry, we’ve got fewer and fewer people producing more and more food and I think a fully autonomous tractor is the next logical step,” said Jarrod Jordan, the general sales manager of Hlavinka Equipment Company, that currently sells Case IH tractors.

But this technology isn`t anything new since self-driving, automatic farm equipment has been in development for many harvest seasons

“We’ve seen this technology coming into play in the last 30-40 years. Initially, we started with controllers that would make the actual steering wheel change., " added Jordan.  “What we’re seeing eventually is likely a change where you’ll have more and more fully autonomous vehicles. I think that’s just as logical in agriculture as it is in a Google Car.”

But do farmers really want to work away from their farms?

“Most farmers have a genuine desire to spend time outdoors, to feel like they’re working with the earth and producing food. But at the same time, as production agriculture grows, you’re going to have fewer people producing the majority of our food on a daily basis,” said Jordan.

It makes sense that these developments have gone into food production because, you know, we need that stuff to survive, but let's just hope that the robots stick to harvesting corn instead of people.

Who’s afraid of a big bad robot overlord anyways?

 

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