John Deere continues robot testing


A development of the GridCON connected cable electric tractor project unveiled in January 2019, many of the technical details of this, and the Joker (first seen at a dealer meeting in Spain in September 2019, and later the same year at Agritechnica) are detailed in the video.

The external power source is located on the headland and connected via an extension cable to the GridCON tractor. The first version had a 1.0km long cable (max 2.5 kV/300kW) which rolled on and off automatically. The new combination is an evolution of this but then with a 3,000m (8kV/1,000kW) power line. Supervision is remote through a digital twin based user interface.

Described as a new type of large-scale farming system, a platooning swarm of fully electric and autonomous agricultural machines is no longer science fiction. The burning question is whether farmers and contractors are ready for such a giant technological leap away from their ‘dirty’ diesel tractors.

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