Bobcat designs autonomous tractor

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“Our mission at Bobcat is to empower people to accomplish more. Through strategic partnerships with companies like Agtonomy, we are committed to advancing our worksite solutions to help solve our customers’ toughest challenges,” said Scott Park, Doosan Bobcat CEO and vice chairman. “By combining our proven equipment with the latest technologies, we are reinventing how work gets done.” 

The battery-powered AT450X combines Bobcat’s articulating tractor with Agtonomy’s software and embedded-computing technology to support emissions-free and autonomous operation, thus allowing farmers to automate labor- and time-intensive tasks.  

The AT450X is designed to autonomously or remotely carry out critical farm tasks in compact applications, such as vineyards and orchards. Farmers can remotely direct the tractor to execute a wide range of tasks, including mowing, spraying, precision weeding, product and material transport and other labor-intensive activities. 

The machine leverages AI to constantly “learn” and dynamically react to its environment. For example, through vision-based systems, it can detect known and unknown objects to auto-stop operation if needed. It can also detect crop stems from weeds, for more precise spraying applications and reduced chemical usage.   

Capable of 24/7 operation, the AT450X can swap batteries when it needs to replenish its energy source. It does this by returning to its home base when its battery is low, switching to a fully charged battery and placing its drained battery back to its charging station. 

Because it produces zero emissions, the autonomous tractor can also be operated in food storage facilities and other enclosed farm structures. The battery-powered tractor can also lower operating and maintenance costs for owners.

“By digitally transforming the equipment farmers know and trust, we can help them combat the daily challenges they face, such as labor constraints and the ever-increasing demand for sustainable farming practices in specialty crops,” said Tim Bucher, CEO and co-founder of Agtonomy. “The Bobcat AT450X with Agtonomy’s TeleFarmer technology makes the perfect end-to-end solution for agriculture and other industries allowing both companies to make a positive impact and that is what it is all about.” 

To operate, users plot the machine’s mission path via Agtonomy’s mobile application. This allows the end user to easily plan, execute and monitor jobs running on an unlimited number of connected machines simultaneously which can yield a positive ROI for owners. 

The AT450X can also navigate on slopes with attachments following the ground contour for professional results in one pass. Operators can control the machine to operate autonomously, via advanced remote control or manually, across various terrains.  

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