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  1. #1
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    John Deere 3320

    Default Robotic tractor

    Get ready for your tractor to plow the back forty while you sit in your living room!

    Rob

    Self-learning driverless tractor - ELEKTOR.com | Electronics: Microcontrollers Embedded Audio Digital Analogue Test Measurement

    Self-learning driverless tractor
    Publication date: 23 September 2011

    The department of Mechatronics, Biostatistics and Sensors (MeBioS) of Leuven University, Belgium, together with Flanders' Mechatronics Technology Centre (FTMC) successfully converted an existing mini tractor into an autonomous self-learning field robot.



    The tractor learns to identify soil characteristics, and on the basis of results controls its speed and steering angle allowing it to follow a certain route very accurately, all without a driver. Precision in the control of agricultural machinery is an important feature for organic farming.



    The self-learning tractor is equipped with linear drives for the accelerator pedal and steering control. In addition, the tractor carries a computer and various additional sensors including a GPS system. The autonomous control system acting as the driver is capable of examining and learning soil conditions, and makes an estimate of the expected wheel slip. Based on a model of the tractor, the optimal speed and steering angle get calculated for the soil to be worked. A GPS measures the actual position which is then compared to the expected position. On this basis, the system adjusts itself.



    A prototype of the self-learning tractor will be shown at the 30th International Farming Tools Day, held in Oudenaarde (Bedlgium) on September 24 and 25.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Henri88's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    Northern N.B.
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    2008 JD 2305, 600hr

    Default Re: Robotic tractor

    Pretty cool, but it ain't for me. Nobody including computers is going to diminish my seat time.
    Henri

    How could you be told I was french?

    Rotary cutter 4' Howse , mid mount mower 54'' , f.e. loader 200CX , tiller RT1150 Frontier , cultivator PC1001 Frontier , middle buster PM1001 Frontier , JD 47'' front snowblower , pallet forks , 4' boxblade Agriease , grass-sweeper , quick hitch Speeco , trailer hitch , cab Jodale-Perry , trailer 16' galvanized Easy-Hauler ,

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
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    Jul 2011
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    Yanceyville, North Carolina
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    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: Robotic tractor

    Informative. Makes you wonder what engineers and scientists will develop next in regards to agriculture. "Dolly" the cloned sheep and now this? Inventions will never overcome my love for working our land and my seat time.
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: Robotic tractor

    I thought it was kinda funny when I came a cross it but personally that would be a down point for me too if I was tractor hunting!

    Rob

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Default

    I was just wacthing a video on how advanced jd ag tractors are. They build very smart tractors. And now if it were to break down, you can't do much in field anyway, too complicated. But luckily they are remote monitored so potentially the dealer could find out right away and ship out a part or send a tech out. Crazy stuff.

  6. #6
    Super Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Kasilof, Alaska
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    JD 5075M; JD 110 TLB; JD 4720; Ford 9N; JD X300R

    Default Re: Robotic tractor

    Where's the sense of pride in your work...? Hard to generate much interest in that -- unless you're "transfixed" by using an Xbox controller!

    Of course, if you're working 10,000 acres and you can't find and keep good help -- sitting at home with 3-4 flat-screen monitors and 3-4 Xbox controller's might just be a great option!

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

  7. #7
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Robotic tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by AKfish View Post
    Where's the sense of pride in your work...? Hard to generate much interest in that -- unless you're "transfixed" by using an Xbox controller!

    Of course, if you're working 10,000 acres and you can't find and keep good help -- sitting at home with 3-4 flat-screen monitors and 3-4 Xbox controller's might just be a great option!

    AKfish
    I would think at the expense those things must have that they will only be viable for large scale farming.

    This reminds me of a story I heard once about a complex piece of electronic equipment that filled a whole room and suddenly stopped working. A team of engineers sat around for two days analyzing the problem. Finally a lowly tech got bored and went into the room and immediately saw that a high voltage anode had failed off because it was never attached correctly when the device was initially built. He stuck it back on and all was well to the amazement of the team of engineers!

    As far as I know it was a true story.

    The 21st century will be the century of robotics right down to robotic war. Real science fiction? Not really just about everything today in major manufacturing is done with robotic welders and assemblers.

    I remember being a kid working in a TV repair shop, everything we fixed was down to the component level, today nothing is. TV's are all LSI (large scale integration) now with dedicated chips for video, horizontal, vertical, etc. So basically we throw away (read recycle) everything.
    I went back to fountain pens, when I was a kid in school we had ink wells built into every desk and all the kids had blue fingers. I like that they make me take the time to think about what I'm doing.

    I still design circuits that I can fix down to the component level and have metal lathes in my shop to fix and build things. I miss the days when Popular Mechanics had articles about people pouring castings for home made gas engines. All these arts are getting lost, now all we do is text about nothing and everyone is on twitter, face book or whatever. We're on nothing, we stopped at the computer and email level, that's about as far as we'll go right now at least.

    We like being these two old fogie, antediluvian anachronisms living self sufficiently, growing our own food and watching the world go by like a train moving to fast to get on, besides we have no interest to be where it's going!

    "There's more to life than speed"

    MK Gandhi

    Rob

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