AUTONOMOUS AGRICULTURAL MACHINE
For a long time we have had to struggle with fundamental mistakes in the practice of today's agricultural management.
The farm implement described below would have several advantages; it would be easy to build and practical in its application:
Similar to a self-driving lawn robot, a jig vehicle could also be constructed for agricultural use. It would be between 1.4 and 7 meters wide*. For spatial orientation serves a simple cable around the perimeter of the field, navigating the driving direction of the vehicle. There is no need for the elaborate autonomous driving and GPS technology of the future.
These solar-powered agricultural machines travel on eight light-weight e-wheels with a power of ca. 2000 watt**. Its approximately 10 m² large solar film coating delivers good power output even under bad lighting conditions; additional handy batteries preventing any outages.
A specifically designed on-board software could, for example, recognize sprouting weeds and prevent them from growing: with the help of replaceable compressed carbon tanks and a row of spears, the main root is quickly severed. Used in dry spring weather, such a device helps the crop dominate the field.
The software should be designed to detect animal wilflife in the field and avoid plowing or mowing there.
This farm implement is versatile: slightly modified, it can be used to apply a certified organic pesticide, targeting only the pest of the cultivated crop. The spray tank could be carried along on a separate trailer with its own synchronized e-wheels.
The approximately 4 m wide jibs are folded up on the way to and from the field. The machine carries out valuable, environmentally friendly work steps – with minimal labor and low operating costs, and it requires little parking space. It can of course be purchased and shared by multiple small farmers.
Many mechanical attachments can be added to the standard machine. The power comes from said compressed carbon tank. Thus, with the addition of a light-weight jig, a worm box, for example, can be harvested. In the spring, the solar-powered machine can do the sowing and the planting of young sprouts. With the appropriate add-ons, it can also function as a mower and make hay***. Only for harvesting corn and larger crops farmers would still need heavy machinery.
Without plowing, carefully treated land houses a wealth of microorganisms. With regular crop rotation and with the autonomous machine which gently
crumbles the top layer of the soil, fertile soil can be achieved without "agrochemical" tools. Deep plowing makes the soil lose nutrients, depriving it of its natural function! Only gentle
tilling allows a return to profitable organic farming. These self-driving machines do not need a 5G-network.
* The jig arms consist of four 1.5 m long, detachable elements with one wheel each. Four outrigger arms align the jig with the terrain. The four elements are fitted with PV foil frames.
** 10 cm wide, flat rims cover a rubber profile with a 6 cm high bead and 5 cm high side profile. The wheel spokes each lead to a 500 watt motor. An air hose tire
is not necessary here. The 1 m wide center section carries four e-wheels, the compressed air tank and the batteries. The latter are charged at the farm using photovoltaics.
*** On the slope, it works efficiently only downhill. The speed will be between 5 and 35 km/h depending on the power.
**** On the way to the field or to the barn, the machine is controlled via joystick, located in the middle section. At first, entering the correct code activates the operating system. All fieldwork can be controlled and monitored remotely via the app. In a life cycle, the approximately 50 kg aluminum tube struts (+ approx. 40 kg of the wheels) provide the best raw material for further use.
Social and economic aspects associated with the use of this HiTech vehicle
There are already more than 23,000 rural organic farms in Austria that benefit significantly: Farmers would no longer spend hours driving on the tractor. Instead, they could spend time at the farm and with their children. They would not be commuting "part-time farmers", but could harvest diverse fruits in good organic quality instead of monocultures. Farming would not mean joyless work. Farmers are food suppliers and no longer just "pawns" of the food industry. On the one hand, the autonomous jig machine deals with the increasing consumer demand, and on the other hand, helps farmers return to the original joy and love for sowing and harvesting. The yields can be offered with good returns as fair-trade-regio products at markets by the farmers themselves.
Strips of fallow land are needed as habitat for the protection of numerous animal and plant species. Around 5% of the agricultural land should be fallow, an economically sound measure.
Whether obligatory or set up as a recommendation, financial support for our farmland coupled with conditions would be a meaningful way for re-ecologicalization that could be overseen via satellite imagery. Also, each community would be a beekeeper promotion of e.g. 1 € per year and bee colony certainly affordable.
It is recommendable to implement environmental protection subsidies for e-field mobility, whether with a direct subsidy on purchase or tax deductibility – as when purchasing an electric car. A farmer driving on the fields requires an enormous amount of fossile fuels per kilometer every year. These numbers can be reduced to a minimum with our light-weight and solar-powered jig vehicles. With serial availability, it would be, in addition to the fossil-powered tractor, a profitable purchase.
The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) must be actively implemented by the countries that signed them within the agreed time frame. With the correct leadership and promotion, we can achieve these goals – for the common good and for the sake of Creation itself!
Many dubious one-size-fits-all poisons radically minimize the diversity of insects – and, unfortunately, songbirds that eat these insects. After all, 75% of all insects have disappeared in the last 30 years! As a result, we have lost much of the former flora and fauna. Little by little the buzzing and chirping will disappear. The silent spring – not just a metaphor! Socially damaging "rural exodus" and urbanization trends are happening globally, with all the obvious consequences that turbo-capitalism has dictated – as long as we don't oppose this development!
These patent-free suggestions now need regional implementation in medium-sized agro-technical companies – this is my strong vision.
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© by Michael Thalhammer (www.TubeWaySolar.at) – July 2011 – Technically updated, Vienna, 12.04.2019