Kinze Autonomy, featuring the Jaybridge Robotics software solution for autonomous vehicles, was recently shown in action in Illinois, where it is actively harvesting corn for three large-scale corn growers.
The system pairs the company's industry-leading grain carts with a Kinze-modified stock tractor, cost-effective sensors, and Jaybridge's advanced algorithms. The result is the world's first large-scale, truly autonomous row-crop solution. This is an exciting offering for row crop farmers who increasingly struggle to find adequate labor at harvest time, and for whom productivity increases are key to profitability.
Agricultural media looked on as the system reliably and precisely synchronized operations with a harvester and brought tens of tons of freshly harvested corn to a semi for transport. Also demonstrated was the easy-to-use, tablet-driven user interface, which provides farmers with complete control of the system.
"It's very gratifying to see the autonomous system in action, performing the harvest just as it was designed to do," comments Josh Pieper, Jaybridge Robotics chief technology officer. "Refined path planning, obstacle avoidance, and a very high degree of reliability are all in evidence here during the harvest season. What is even more exciting is working directly with the farmers who are the end users, and seeing first-hand that our work to deliver an easy-to-use, intuitive interface has really paid off."
Illinois farmer Rick Elliott says, "It's really simple, all you do is push a button and it does what you want it to. It's amazing."
"The farmers' positive feedback on the autonomy system has been very rewarding for both Kinze and our partners at Jaybridge," says Susanne Kinzenbaw Veatch, vice president and chief marketing officer of Kinze Manufacturing. "The tablet interface is all they need. Just four buttons, combined with an aerial view of the field, allows them to establish and maintain complete control of the system. Keeping it this simple allows farmers to learn how to use the system very quickly. In fact, they tell us that using Kinze Autonomy becomes routine for them within a day."