Farming News - Agritechnica - Weidemann presents concept study on the issue of automation
Agritechnica - Weidemann presents concept study on the issue of automation
Automation is entering the world of machinery step by step. Operator assistance systems that are already available, such as the Vertical Lift System (vls), installed by Weidemann in its telehandlers, are already well proven in the market and make the operator’s job considerably easier, and provide for machine safety and comfortable operation.
Weidemann will now be presenting a further step towards automation at this year's Agritechnica: imp (Intelligent Multifunctional Partner) is being demonstrated over an obstacle course, as a concept study. The small, compact, battery-operated device moves feed completely automatically into position, over a previously freely defined path. This means that the operator brings the imp to a specified location/point and then starts up the previously programmed process. In practice, this activity can be carried out on feed tables that are fixed in place - in a similar manner to other robotic systems, which are already familiar in livestock barns. The advantage of the Weidemann imp is that the device can also applied in multi-functional operation for further work tasks on the farm.
The imp concept study is able to demonstrate three functional levels: The imp is able to be operated either fully remotely or it can be used as a tracker. For this purpose, a human silhouette is read in via sensor and the imp then tracks the human. This feature is very useful when it is necessary to load or unload the device with objects and at the same time cover a track path, such as erecting a fence, fetching wood or spreading mineral feed. For fully automated operations, the imp is pre-programmed with the specified route, and then completes it and stops at the end fully automatically.
The imp concept study is to be evaluated as a small multi-functional platform and is initially presented using a tiltable skip as an attachment with a payload of 180 kg. The device has mechanical quick coupler system seating, on which a pusher blade can be attached for pushing feed or even snow. In addition, the imp can be used as a small towing vehicle using a ball hitch - this allows movement and maneuvering of trailers up to 1,600 kg. Naturally in the future, other attachments are also conceivable
This project is a collaboration between Weidemann GmbH and the Chair for Agricultural Systems of the Technical University of Munich, together with Innok Robotics, Regensburg. “Weidemann has set itself the target of always being at the forefront of technology development. The main aim of automation is to remove the working burden from the driver or operator as far as possible. We wish to use the imp concept study, in order to engage in a dialog with our customers and to sound out the potential of current automation technology,” commented managing director, Bernd Apfelbeck, on this venture into automation.