3D Robotics


Good article


3. Autonomous vehicles and aircraft

Patrico said manufacturers such as Kinze have developed tractor-driven grain carts that don’t need drivers to pull alongside a combine and load up with grain harvested from the field. With the flip of a switch, the combine driver tells the newly full grain cart to drive back to the edge of the field and unload into a semi. Meanwhile, said V. Philip Rasmussen, director of Western Region- al Sustainable Agriculture Research Center at Utah State University, some farmers are turn- ing to UAVs -– unattended aerial vehicles. He said these are remotely controlled aircraft that fly over crops and take near-infrared photos. He said the images serve as early-warning systems that show if something is wrong based on color bands, but he said it’s up to farmers to figure out what’s wrong, whether it’s lack of water to a por- tion of the field, insects or another issue.

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  • After working in ag for 20 years I wouldn't hesitate to say that the greatest barrier to adoption of technology isn't hardware but the training and support structure needed to sustain it.  There is technology in the field today operating at only a fraction of its potential.  The hardware is purchased to do the vocational side of the task but the data collection is often dropped because the management of data can be tedious and the value can be camouflaged unless someone can readily show how useful it can be. 

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