Kubota Corporation (Head Office: Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Japan; President and Representative Director: Yuichi Kitao; hereinafter, “Kubota”) demonstrated a concept tractor at a new product exhibition held in Kyoto City on January 15-16, 2020.
Half century after exhibiting its first-ever concept tractor at the Japan World Exposition held in Osaka in 1970 (Expo ’70), Kubota unveiled concept tractor to commemorate the 130th anniversary of its founding. Equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and electrification technology, this “dream tractor” is a completely autonomous tractor that represents the future of farming drawn by Kubota. Kubota will continue developing products to realize smart agriculture with cutting-edge technology to address the challenges facing Japanese farmers.
In Japan, while an increasing number of farmers retire due to aging, the average scale of farming continues to grow as a result of the contracting out of farm operations and the accumulation of farmland for efficient management. In order to address the challenges which farmers are facing such as labor shortage and low operating efficiency, it is urgently necessary to introduce smart farming.
Since launch of AGRIROBO tractors in 2017, Kubota has expanded autonomous agricultural machinery the AGRIROBO Series. Now Kubota unveils this concept model with numerous advanced technologies, such as AI and electrification technology, in anticipation of the full-scale introduction of smart farming which is continuously expected by farmers.
Kubota will continue developing technologies for labor-saving and precision farming in order to address the challenges for Japanese agriculture, which include the aging of farmers and labor shortage. Kubota aims to realize the affluent society through production of foods by providing high-value-added agricultural products required by markets efficiently, improvement profitability and reducing environmental loads.
2. Key features of the concept tractor
(1) Futuristic design
The autonomous and electrification technology realized advanced design by new construction designing concept.
Following and advancing of the identity of Kubota tractors, created smooth shape through awareness of environmental protection and harmony with natures.
(2) Completely unmanned operation by AI
Based on various data such as weather data and growth rates, AI chooses the appropriate operation and makes actions timely. Our goal is to achieve a completely autonomous operation.
The environmental data obtained by tractors in operation can be automatically shared with other machines at site to realize centrally-managed efficient operation.
(3) Full electrification achieves environmentally friendly farm operation
100% electric power by combination of lithium-ion batteries and solar batteries.
Full electrification contributes for zero emissions and reducing environmental loads.
(4) One machine for diverse processes
The four-wheeled crawler achieves stable autonomous driving even on wet paddies and uneven terrains.
The four-wheeled crawler changes its shape to maintain the tractor height at the optimal level, thus performing in various processes. For the processes need high traction, the contact area with the ground to be increased by lowering the tractor height in order to lower its center of gravity. On the other hand, when operating above crops for their management, clearance from the ground to be adjusted by increasing the tractor height.
The in-wheel motor makes it possible to arbitrarily change the rotation speed of the four crawlers (front, rear, right, and left) to achieve a small turning radius for autonomous operation on various types of land.
“Dream Tractor” at EXPO ’70
The “Dream Tractor” was exhibited in the Kubota Pavilion at the Japan World Exposition, Osaka 1970 with advanced technologies at that time such as superior functionality, great driver comfort and easier operability.