Agtonomy creates smart agriculture ecosystem

  • February 27, 2024
  • William Payne

Agtech specialist Agtonomy has developed a smart farm task ecosystem to accelerate adoption of agricultural robotics. The new ecosystem autonomously makes digital connections between self driving tractors and farm tools, making it easier to operate connected farm solutions.

Agtonomy’s Smart Farm Task Ecosystem comprises four hardware solutions: Smart Take-Off; Smart Toolbar; Smart Implementation Sensors; Smart Sprayers.

Smart Take-Off (STO) is designed as an easily-attached plug connector to provide power and data transfer between the tractor and tool implement attachments, replacing the industry-standard purely mechanical power take-off (PTO). More energy efficient than PTO’s, the STO is also safer and easier to use.

Smart Toolbar is a generic, sensor-enabled intelligent toolbar that can carry numerous different types of smart weeding, mowing and cultivation tools. The smart toolbar captures and communicates information between the tractor and tools, enabling real-time response in a three-dimensional performance, such as automatically adjusting tool heights and widths to accommodate for plant spacing and terrain fluctuations.

Smart Implement Sensors (SIS) are sensors placed on tools to collect data and communicate with the tractor’s autonomous navigation system to modulate its speed, power or other metrics. SIS can be placed directly on existing implements or on the tractor itself.

Smart Sprayers are spray nozzles that communicate with data sources, adjusting application rates to spot needs, allowing the ability to reduce or increase spray rates as the tractor moves based on computer vision-collected data such as canopy density, weed pressure or disease hotspots.

The Smart Far Task Ecosystem combines with Agtonomy’s TeleFarmer tele-guidance software and services app and with equipment from farming equipment manufacturers including Thiessen Tillage Equipment, OnTarget Spray Systems, KCI Manufacturing and Clemens Technologies.

“For autonomy to bring value to agriculture, we must think about tractors and farm tools like farmers do. Together,” said Tim Bucher, Agtonomy CEO and co-founder. “While other companies have designed individual components of farm robotics, either self-driving tractors or autonomous implements, Agtonomy has connected the digital dots between machines to seamlessly and autonomously execute tasks while keeping farmers in control.”

“Unlike driving a car from point A to point B, no farmer goes ‘tractoring.’ Farmers use equipment for very specific, precise tasks that are becoming more challenging in today’s environment,” Bucher said. “By working with industry partners farmers know and trust on both the tractor and implement side, we can more rapidly scale a complete autonomous solution for farmers today.”

“Working with Agtonomy means equipment manufacturers like us can leverage their advanced computer science, engineering and robotic systems with the trusted brand and proven design of our farm tillage product line for solutions that are exponentially better than either of us could provide alone,” said Ryan Thiessen, owner and operator of Thiessen Tillage Equipment headquartered in Canada.