The test will involve a platoon system in which the lead truck is driven by an operator and the second truck follows using driver-assist technology. | File photo

Autonomous truck tests planned for Alberta highways this winter

The shortage of truck drivers is a familiar problem and now a new project using technology similar to what’s already used in farmers’ fields is being tested on highways. The Alberta Motor Transportation Association (AMTA) has launched Canada’s first program to test a platoon system of tractor trailers that will see the lead truck driven […] Read more

Agrifac is one of the large OEMs that are testing the Bilberry technology.  |  Agrifac photo

Ag game changing and the intelligence is inside

Artificial intelligence in agriculture is at the technology farmgate with machines that think like farmers

Artificial intelligence is on the cusp of causing a sea change in agriculture that promises to quickly challenge conventional crop-production and farm management techniques. Many components required to build autonomous, smart agricultural equipment for vegetable and grain production in North America are already proven technologies. Sensors including camera, lidar, and radar, as well as components […] Read more

Iron Ox uses robots that are integrated with a hydroponic system consuming 90 percent less water than traditional farms, said CEO Brandon Alexander. | Screencap via

Bill Gates’ green tech fund bets on Silicon Valley farming robots

Sept 22 (Reuters) – As California struggles with another crippling drought, a Silicon Valley startup that believes robots can grow produce more sustainably said Wednesday it raised US$50 million in a funding round led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Iron Ox uses robots that are integrated with a hydroponic system consuming 90 percent less […] Read more

Vermeer's robotic bale-mover prototype handles up to three bales.  |  Vermeer photo

Autonomous baler handles tedious part of job

Collecting bales that are spread out across large fields is an onerous job, which is why Vermeer has developed an autonomous bale mover. “We saw a need out there starting with biomass, where we needed to pick up a bunch of corn stalk bales and put them to the edge of the field,” said Kent […] Read more

Ztractor is building three models of electric-powered, robotic tractors. This is the smallest offering, the Bearcub-24, which has approximately 30 horsepower, a 540 p.t.o. and a category 1 three-point hitch. It may be available in Canada next year.  |  Ztractor photo

Small electric, autonomous tractors build big-time

A California startup is building three models of autonomous tractors fit with electric drive trains, with the smallest already in production and deliveries to American farmers expected this year. “The Bearcub-24 model has a 24 kilowatt-hour battery, and it’s the equivalent to let’s say around 30 horsepower,” said Bakur Kvezereli, founder of Ztractor. Each model […] Read more

Cervus Equipment works on the Smart Farm at Olds College during last year’s harvest. | Olds College photo

Smart Farm helps make high-tech agriculture a reality

Olds College is showing how computers will revolutionize the way modern prairie agriculture is about to be carried out

A computer control room isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when people think of farming, but Stuart Cullum says such technology is already sort of here. “I mean, a lot of what’s happening on the farm can be seen on a computer in a control room, so to speak — a person […] Read more

The autonomous FarmWise Titan FT35 analyzes the contents of a field and then makes choices about which plants should be there and mechanically eliminates any that shouldn't.  |  FarmWise photo

More farm robots on the horizon

Small companies and startups are having the biggest initial impact as work on autonomous platforms continues

The march of the robots into agricultural fields continues. Major OEMs are well into the development of autonomous platforms, but the relatively small companies and startups are having the biggest initial impact. The electric utility tractor by Monarch will be available to Canadian farmers this year and it has interesting autonomous capability that may turn […] Read more

Brian Tischler demonstrates how he’s able to drive his tractor autonomously using software on a laptop.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

VIDEO: Alta. farmer’s autonomous tractor working well

Brian Tischler, who demonstrated his technology at canolaPALOOZA in Lacombe in late June, says safety is crucial

LACOMBE, Alta. — Brian Tischler stands in front of a moving tractor. Nobody is in the driver’s seat, but the machine stops. It senses he’s there. He then decides to get out of the tractor’s way. The machine notices he’s no longer there and carries on with business, moving forward. “We went around this field […] Read more

The Connect spray attachment built for the DOT autonomous agricultural robot has a 120-foot aluminum boom, a 1,600 U.S. gallon stainless steel tank, and a continuous flow boom. | Photo supplied by Connect

Sprayer built for autonomous ag platform

REGINA — Slightly less than a year after the DOT autonomous agricultural platform was shown to the public at the Ag In Motion Farm show, the first DOT compatible implement built by a “platform partner” is being tested. A newly formed company called Connect, which is closely affiliated with Pattison Liquid Systems, has produced a […] Read more

Creator of Ag Open GPS, Brian Tischler, sits in the electronics lab he built in his basement. He uses the lab to develop projects or fix farm electronics. | Robin Booker photo

Farmer develops tractor control

An Alberta farmer has developed open source software capable of driving tractors autonomously with the use of their existing GPS. AgOpenGPS is a free program farmers can download onto a tablet, which users then plug into a port located on the back of most GPS systems. The tablet also needs to connect to an arduino, […] Read more