Yanmar has finished the development of its fully autonomous tractor. The so-called Robot Tractor is available now.
The Japanese Yanmar has been working on autonomous tractors, called Robot Tractors, for quite some time. They are able to work the field by themselves or as a group. For this project, Yanmar has been working together with Hokkaido University.
Yanmar Robot Tractor has become reality
In 2017 Yanmar already announced that it’s system was ready for use, and now the Robot Tractor has become reality. The first tractors using Smartpilot ICT technology for autonomous driving are for sale starting October.
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The new autonomous driving “Robot Tractors” are designed to greatly enhance farm management efficiency, while realizing significant labor-savings. - Photos: Yanmar
Auto Tractors using GPS steering system
In addition to the unmanned Robot Tractors, Yanmar has introduced a lineup of Auto Tractors that deliver high-precision work with minimal human operation. The Auto Tractor system is basically an in-house developed GPS steering system, where the driver has to be in the cabin. Yanmar says it’s possible to upgrade a Auto Tractor to a fully autonomous Robot Tractor.
The “Auto” and “Robot” tractors come in 4 models:
- YT488A (88 hp)
- 498A (98 hp)
- 4104A (104 hp)
- 5113A (113 hp)
2 modes of autonomous operation
In addition to advancing forward, “Auto Mode” allows the tractor to automatically drive in reverse, stop and execute turns. In “Linear Mode,” while certain driving maneuvers such as turning are performed by hand, the tractor can travel back and forth on its own when cultivating land. Switching between these two modes is possible in the 2-Series, allowing you to customize it for different operators, or according to skill of the individual and the work itself.
Operation and settings are controlled via a durable, dustproof and waterproof 10-in. tablet to assure and reliability in the often-harsh environment of farming. Also, it allows for 1 person to operate 2 tractors, as the tablet in the manned tractor can be used to operate the unmanned tractor side-by-side with the manned tractor, or even in reverse.
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Yanmar plans to sell more than 100 units annually for autonomous tractors.
Information is represented by icons or illustrations, making it possible for the user to easily perform tasks such as gauging the work area, creating driving routes and tracking where the machine has driven during operation. “And, because the system is based on RTK-GNSS which can utilize signals from multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and the base station, it can provide positioning information with pinpoint accuracy. In addition to the base stations established by JA and local governments, the user can utilize Yanmar’s own base station as well,” says Yanmar.
Safety equipment (Robot Tractor Only)
Assuring safety for those in the proximity of the Robot Tractor, which is capable of unmanned driving and operation under the surveillance of an operator, are numerous sensors and safety lights. Also, the user can perform functions such as emergency stops on the control tablet.
Prices start at € 82.672 to € 108.495 for an Auto Tractor, depending on the specifications. The Robot Tractor has a price tag of € 93.618 to € 119.441.