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John Deere is a major force when it comes to agriculture equipment. Lately, this includes autonomous tractors and other devices that take advantage of machine-learning and artificial-intelligence (ML/AI) technology. I spoke with Willy Pell, Chief Executive Officer at Blue River Technology, part of John Deere, about the company's various systems that employ ML technology, including self-driving tractors and planting systems (see video above).
John Deere's autonomous 8R Tractor is already available to farmers (see video below). This system employs multiple cameras and sensors connected to NVIDIA Jetson hardware that runs the ML models. In the video, we talk about the issues and advantages they had compared to self-driving cars, which have to contend with a more diverse environment as well as operate at higher speeds.
John Deere's ExactShot Planter system is designed to deliver focused fertilizer on a per plant basis (see video below). This can significantly reduce the amount of material required. It not only cuts cost, but it reduces run off that can affect the surrounding environment.
The remote-control system is actually an app that runs on a smartphone. It communicates with systems like the autonomous tracker through the cloud. This can notify a farmer if an error occurs, such as detecting an object like a person in front of the tractor, or when a task is completed, such as fertilizing a field.
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