Bobcat develops driver-optional tractor with Agtonomy

Doosan Bobcat has signalled its intention to enter the fields of electrically propelled and driver-optional equipment by unveiling the Bobcat AT450X, a compact four-wheel-drive tractor with articulated chassis steering.

Developed in partnership with US-based agricultural software company Agtonomy, the battery-electric machine, runs on single or dual wheels all round.

It looks a tad like a miniaturised Big Bud, the iconic four-wheel drive that claims the title of the world’s biggest and most powerful tractor.

See also: Driverless tractors: Which manufacturer is leading the race?

But while that machine prowls the prairies, pumping out diesel fumes while operating big tillage and seeding equipment, the AT450X has a zero-emissions electric power unit and altogether more modest tasks on its to-do list – it will likely be used in orchards and vineyards, for horticulture and so on.

Applications within its capabilities are said to include mowing, spraying and precision weeding, with technology available for distinguishing between crops and targets.

It could also be used for driverless transportation, suggest Bobcat and Agtonomy, such as moving picked fruit from the orchard to a packhouse.

The tractor can “learn” on the job thanks to the artificial intelligence technology embedded in Agtonomy’s Telefarmer software, and react to its environment through vision-based monitoring and detection systems.

And when the AT450X is in need of more juice, the mini artic will return to its home base, ditch its spent battery for a fully charged one and go about its business again without human intervention.

Need a contractor?

Find one now