The problem with conventional tractors is they are large, expensive and require an operator to be present at all times. Any large equipment will compact the seeds into the soil as it drives over them, lessening the chance of a full crop when it starts to grow. Furthermore, having an operator present at all times is less productive than one that just doesn't need an operator.

Each time a seeding tractor moves over land, it leaves crop lines. In these crop lines, which make up about 20% of an entire farmer's field, nothing grows. Furthermore, because it makes these portions of land unusable, they must drive over the same lines each year, which further degrades the soil quality.

The solution has been presented by Grains Research and Development Corporation in partnership with Katupitiya. They have created a lighter and more affordable tractor that can move precisely around the field delivering a consistent pattern of seeds. The automated machine has the capability of one to two meters of accuracy, even over rough terrain.

The biggest problem with an automated seeder is that it gets thrown off course when the plough digs into the soil. The technology has been created that corrects these deviations and sets the machine back on course.

The machine can do more than just seeding. Currently, it can also perform weeding tasks, fertilizing and growth monitoring tasks. Farmers are able to know exactly where their crops are at, making better use of their time.

The tractor uses advanced control systems and sensors to maintain its course throughout operation. It calls on a series of linear actuators to control the wheel, the seeder and the plough. If you like to learn more about how electric actuators are used in the farming industry, visit our education page on Linear Actuators in Agriculture.

This all amounts to a better yield for farmers. Using more of their land more efficiently, they will get a better, healthier and bigger product each year. The precision of this automated tractor will allow for the crops to perform better nutrient uptake on a consistent scale.


Currently, the researchers are attempting to garner more attention and funding to continue development and production on a commercial level.

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