Robot reapers and AI: Just another day on the farm

8D3E6BBB-9431-48DE-9BFD-0B22B03ACAFA

Pressures on agriculture have forced a technological revolution that are driving a new age of farming.

The agriculture industry has hit a turning point. Faced with a massive labor crunch and environmental instability, aggressive technology deployments are no longer an option for outliers in the sector, but a necessary and critical element in the success of the farm.

Enabling the transformation are a host of new developers, but also legacy companies with deep roots in agriculture. Smart technology from companies like John Deere, for example, is helping farmers to produce more with less and create more successful crops, all while having a smaller impact on the land and environment. In contrast to prevailing wisdom that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, John Deere is employing AI and machine learning in its equipment to identify and enable needed actions at a scope and speed beyond human capacity, automating farming actions through smart robotics to enable consistent and precise actions at large scale, and providing precise, geospatial intelligence generated with machine technology and coupled with cloud-stored data to enable sustainable farming.

In other words, it’s like farming with technologies that might be more commonly associated with NASA than a tractor company. I caught up with Dr. Cristian Dima, Lead of Advanced Algorithms, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, to discuss the changes underway in the farming sector and what we can expect going forward.

Continue reading… “Robot reapers and AI: Just another day on the farm”

0

Kubota unveils radical autonomous electric tractor in Japan

36EF1A4E-AD74-4445-9D8A-9EA4F9C22CB7

The X tractor is being presented in commemoration of Kubota’s 130th year in business

 According to agricultural machinery manufacturer Kubota, there are now fewer farmers in Japan, trying to manage increasingly large amounts of land. With that problem in mind, the company recently unveiled a concept for helping those farmers out – a driverless tractor.

Known as the X tractor (a play on “cross tractor”), the vehicle was designed as part of Kubota’s Agrirobo automated technology program. It made its public debut earlier this month, at an exhibition in the city of Kyoto.

Although not much in the way of technical details have been provided, the vehicle is apparently completely electrically-powered, via a combination of lithium-ion battery packs and solar panels.

Continue reading… “Kubota unveils radical autonomous electric tractor in Japan”

0