By Mark McConville
COULD these handsfree robotic tractors that work quietly by themselves at night be the revolutionary new way to feed the planet?
Stunning concept images show the surreal looking tractors ploughing fields and pulling other farming equipment.
The video footage shows that some of the vehicles will have a space for a driver while others will autonomous and can also be controlled via a mobile app.
The Valtra H202 concept is the work of Lorenzo Mariotti and will be a hydrogen fuel cell electric tractor equipped with advanced autonomous driving system, focused on time optimisation and cooperation with the user.
“One of the most important themes is the environment attention,” said Mariotti.
“Reducing the environment footprint of these working machines could reduce the amount of resources needed to produce food. For the H202 I have chosen hydrogen fuel cell with an electric power train.
“The electric engine has a huge constant torque, it’s clean and requires less maintenance, making it a good successor for diesel engines. H202 is equipped with a fuel cell that produces electricity from hydrogen.
“Batteries could also be charged directly at the farm, using a plug or wireless inductive charging.
Hydrogen could be obtained from methane produced with anaerobic digesters directly on the farm. In this way the footprint of the whole farm will be significantly reduced.”
H202 includes also technologies such as Laser and Oled lights, advanced active safety and remote management.
“Humans are very good at finding a creative solution to an unexpected situation, for this reason the farmer must occasionally still be able to drive the tractor,” added Mariotti.
“However, combining human and machine capabilities could improve productivity by optimising the time spent working.
“For this reason H202 has advanced autonomous driving that will be able to complete complex and repetitive tasks around the clock. Tractor management will be tightly integrated with the farm’s production plan.
“For instance, tasks not requiring farmer interaction will be completed during night time.
Autonomous driving technology will also improve safety, by taking over from the driver in potentially dangerous situations to avoid accidents.
“Other features are separate electric engines for PTO, remote control via app and laser and oled technology for lights. It comes also with a cabin version.
“The design is an evolution of the archetypal form of the tractor, making it immediately recognisable.”
For more information see https://www.lorenzomariotti.com/