Agri Robo MR1000A
The labour saver
Cost reduction, sustainable, technology, smart farming.
How can we get our jobs done with fewer workers?
With farms increasing in size and the potential labour market shrinking, today’s farmers are challenged with cultivating the land in an efficient and profitable way, despite the increased costs and shortage of labour.
What are the benefits of Agri Robo?
Anyone who has spent hours navigating in a tractor on farmland knows its challenges. Besides keeping the vehicle on track, there are so many other things that the driver needs to keep an eye on. And with the complexity of modern machinery, a substantial amount of knowledge and experience is needed for optimum tractor and implement operation. At the same time, driving a tractor around a field is often hot and monotonous work. Ideally, we have to make things easier for the driver, whilst reducing costs and intensive labour.
Technological innovations can provide a solution to these issues. Just as car manufacturers are experimenting with autonomous cars on the road, and space exploration relies on autonomous vehicles on other planets, farmers can now send autonomous tractors on to their fields, operating them remotely or while sitting in the cab.
As a Japanese company, Kubota originally developed the Agri Robo to address the issue of maintaining agriculture in a country with an ageing population. With a shrinking agricultural workforce but the need to increase food production, growers in Japan can deal with both situations with one simple solution: the autonomous tractor.
The tractor of the future is here today
Kubota has created the MR 1000A Agri Robo. With the Agri Robo, farmers can plan their field size and shape, what jobs need to be performed on the land and allow the tractor to carry out its job on its own – they can even remotely operate two tractors at once.
Safety for the tractor, the operator and any other people around is ensured by sonar and scanner technology. The optical recognition systems can detect obstacles close by and far away, and whether these are stationary or moving. This also means the Agri Robo can be used within a larger window of time, as it won’t get tired after long, monotonous hours of operation. It can also work at night-time.
Operated manually by the farmer on the street, the Agri Robo tractor can, once on the field, be switched into automotive mode and be controlled with the help of a tablet, a special remote or screen in the cab. The Farm Management Information System (FMIS) in the information panel of the tractor allows surveillance of the tractor in real time.
Efficient farming, good for the environment
If only one person is required to do the work of two, it saves time and money and makes each worker more efficient. The Agri Robo is also lighter than standard tractors and therefore creates less soil compaction.
And if all this sounds complicated, think again. The operating system of the tractor doesn’t require a great deal of special training; it’s easy to learn to operate.
Watch manned and unmanned operation of the Agri Robo
The Agri Robo is already out on fields in Japan, making the farmers’ work so much easier. It ticks all the boxes – it saves labour and money, increases efficiency and yield, and helps to protect the environment. A visionary, all-around solution for 21st century agriculture.
“We asked ourselves how we can continue to work our land despite a labour shortage and still generate enough yields, even increase them. We opted for autonomous tractors and are doing very well with them.”
Hiroyuki Ishii, Farmer, Japan
“We have significantly increased productivity, partly because we can also work with the tractors at night. What impresses us most is the absolute precision of the tractor. In the past, when we ploughed the soil before moving the rice seedlings, we didn’t see in the evening how far we had got with our work. It’s different with the autonomous tractor. It works absolutely accurately, with up to 15 cm between rows. There is not a single unnecessary trip.”
UN Sustainable Development Goals
The Agri Robo tractor contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals of achieving zero hunger, encouraging decent work and economic growth, promoting industry, innovation and infrastructure, and protecting life on land.
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