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Anderson's Self-Propelled Planter
We told you last fall (Vol. 36, No. 5) about Terry Anderson’s revolutionary 400 hp driverless tractor. Instead of a transmission, differential and axle, it has 2 powerful engine/generator sets that drive 4 electric wheel motors. There are 10 computers on the tractor that control navigation, hydraulics, drive system, and components.
  As the tractor nears production-ready status, Anderson and his Autonomous Tractor Corporation are moving ahead to adapt the new technologies they’ve developed to a self-propelled planter that shreds previous year’s crop residue and also tills, fertilizes and plants the crop. The unmanned tracked vehicle will carry enough fertilizer and seed for 160 acres, operating with less than 6 psi ground pressure. Front-mounted units will shred residue while rear-mounted modules strip-till and then place fertilizer and seed. All components on the self-propelled planter will be powered by electric motors. A single engine-driven genset will provide the power.
  Anderson and company are also developing “drone” crop sprayers that look like flying saucers. They’ll carry a tank of spray solution in the center, surrounded by 8 rotors, and fly a pre-programmed pattern, returning to the nurse tank as needed. (ph 701 429-3964; www.autonomoustractor.com)

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2