«Previous    Next»
What We Need Now Is A "Smart" Ear of Corn
Recent reports from Europe about a "smart spud" made us think about how the idea could be used to improve combines, augers, and crop handling other equipment.
  The "smart spud" is shaped like an average-sized potato but it's filled with electronic sensors and a transmitter. The idea is to use it to calibrate harvesting or grading equipment to do the least amount of damage to the real potatoes going through. The "smart spud" rides along through the equipment with the other potatoes, and sends data to a hand-held computer-receiver that displays the data. It gives an easy-to-read analysis of what's going on within parts of the machine that aren't visible.
  "It's as easy to use as a stop watch and doesn't require a computer or other special software," says inventor Frank Pirie of Pirie Crop Storage Systems, Dundonald, Ayrshire, England.
  It seems like a great idea to us. Why not create a "smart" ear of corn that you could run through a combine to ensure that it's set properly? With computer chips continuing to shrink, maybe they could even create "smart soybeans" or "smart wheat".

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4