Concept: American precision agriculture technology company Raven Industries has launched OMNiDRIVE and OMNiPOWER driverless technologies for farming activities. OMNiDRIVE is an aftermarket technology solution that converts existing tractors into driverless machines. OMNiPOWER is a self-propelled power platform that is interchangeable with farm equipment to perform multiple farming operations.
Nature of Disruption: OMNiDRIVE allows users to set a field plan, set up work location, set speed, and monitor activities on location. It can also command a tractor pulling a grain cart to sync with the harvester. The solution is programmed to recognize unharvested crops so that it does not cut them. It uses multiple tractor-mounted cameras and radars to keep people, animals, and property safe. OMNiDRIVE comes with a tablet-based user interface. It has an OMNiDRIVE portal to create boundaries and operational tasks that include offloading at defined staging and unloading areas. It allows re-syncing for deployment on the next mission. OMNiPOWER allows the farmer to remotely operate and send the unit on autonomous missions from a tablet. Farmer loads appropriate machine to the tractor and use a computer program to generate path plan on the field. The plan can be altered at any time as per the farmer’s requirement. Once finalized, the tractor and the machine attached can begin their operation autonomously.
Outlook: Agriculture is one of the major contributing industries in countries’ GDP. Automation contributes to the productivity of farming. Farmers are moving towards autonomous farming activities to tackle challenges such as labor shortage, safety issues, and time consumption. Raven Industries has developed driverless ag technology that enables the conversion of existing tractors into autonomous one. The company’s offering not only automates harvesting activities but also strives to increase productivity and maintaining security for farmers.