The global population is growing at a compounding 1.3% rate. Society has begun to identify and work toward the need to maintain resource sustainability. A conglomeration of high school FIRST robotics teams will resolve these concerns with an automated renewable energy powered electric tractor, The Automated G. This solution will enable new agricultural production capabilities well suited to sub-Saharan Africa.
Innovation: The Automated G runs autonomously via an Arduino microcontroller, which can be activated at a click of a button. The conversion kit guides the tractor through a special form of GPS, called Real Time Kinematics (RTK). This allows the Automated G to have centimeter accuracy, which prohibits over-planting. Through the collision avoidance system and the lack of a human controller, the tractor protects users from hazards such as tractors flipping, user error, equipment malfunctioning, and injury to operator or bystander.
Manufacturability: The Automated G conversion is scalable for existing large diesel tractors, as well as design from the ground up. The team has already developed the conversion mechanism and efficient design schematics between the existing gear train and a new high efficiency motor, and can be ----- with commercial off the shelf parts. For $5,000, the Automated G economically feasible compared to conversion kits for electric tractors with prices ranging from $10,000 to over $300,000. The Automated G’s Electric engine removes the need for fuel, antifreeze, and transmission fluid, which saves money long-term. This improvement will help reduce the emissions output by a normal tractor.
Marketability: The Automated G is a simple and highly effective solution to problems with overpopulation, carbon emission, crop deficit, and farming in general. Electrical transportation is a growing field and the elimination of reliance on fossil fuels is a major goal that can be solved by the time that this generation joins the workforce. This transition should apply to all fields not just consumer products; this innovation show a growing change in design, application, and maintenance of vehicles. These changes allow ever increasing productivity to expand to many business providing opportunities to start ups and boosting the agricultural economy, especially during this time of an agricultural downturn.