Autonomous tractor from Raven Industries works with farmers’ existing equipment.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com
Although Raven Industries, Inc. of Sioux Falls, South Dakota has been around since 1956 focusing on work for space exploration, nowadays as a part of CNH Industrial it has more down-to-Earth ambitions advancing farming through innovation and technology.
Its latest ag machine is the OMNiDRIVE, an autonomous (driverless) harvest solution that fits existing machines to perform specific field operations.
The OMNiDRIVE harvest application provides a combine harvester with control to autonomously call a driverless grain cart tractor to come to the harvester to offload without a requirement of a second operator.
One operator, two machines.
This realigning of labour allows farms to work on other things, such as complete fall maintenance and tillage by giving back hundreds of labour hours.
According to Raven, OMNiDRIVE uses several strategically placed safety cameras to supply obstacle detection. Camera images also run through an AI (artificial intelligence) process that recognizes humans, animals, equipment, and other dangerous obstacles. The system can also establish the difference between sections of unharvested crops and crops that were missed.
An operator can set a path plan and offloading area to synchronize the harvester with the driverless tractor that pulls the grain cart. When the operator is ready to offload the combine, the lone human driver calls the tractor to sync up with the harvester in the field, at which time grain is offloaded into the autonomous transport grain cart.
Once completed, the tractor can be ordered back to the staging area to await the next call.
Other Key Features:
- Reduces grain spillage and other synchronization errors;
- Protects unharvested crops with sub-inch GPS accuracy;
- A perception system safely keeps in-field obstacles unharmed;
- The combine operator completely controls the speed, sync, and offloading of the grain cart;
- Operated using a tablet-based user interface;
- Boundary setup, modification, and predictive path planning that stays in sync and on course.
Company information is available at www.ravenind.com.