John Deere – yes, the tractor company – was hailed at CES 2022 with its fully autonomous autonomous tractor. This year is no different: On Thursday, the company announced its new electric shovel and ExactShot, a robotics-based fertilizer system. Both versions saw John Deere take home the CES 2023 award for Best Robotics Innovation and a nod as the winner for Vehicle Technology and Advanced Mobility.
“Why should you care about farmers when they represent less than 2% of the American population? » John May, CEO of John Deere, said during a keynote at CES. “You won’t find two industries that have a greater impact on our world and all of us than agriculture and construction.”
ExactShot uses sensors and robotics to place fertilizer precisely where the seeds need it, instead of laying down a continuous stream of fertilizer across the entire row of seeds. John Deere claims this will reduce the amount of starter fertilizer needed by more than 60%, or more than 93 million gallons of starter fertilizer per year.
“ExactShot uses a sensor to record when each seed is entering the ground,” the company wrote in a press release. “When this happens, a robot sprays only the amount of fertilizer needed, about 0.2 millilitres, directly onto the seed at the exact moment it enters the ground.”
Another innovation from the tractor company is its viewing and spraying technology, which uses 36 cameras on a massive 120-foot-long machine to identify the difference between weeds and plants – and kill the former without harming the latter. . This reduces the amount of herbicides farmers need by up to 66%, and it sounds very cool.
If you see something, you spray something.
There is also the electric shovel, which emits zero emissions, as well as reduced noise pollution and costs, without sacrificing power. It is powered by Kreisel Electric, of which Deere acquired a majority stake last February. Kreisel’s charging technology puts less strain on the power grid.
“Everything we do at John Deere is driven by real purpose and real impact,” Jahmy Hindman, CTO at John Deere, said in a press release. “That means we’re developing technology that enables our customers to provide the food, fuel, fiber and infrastructure our growing global population needs.”
Julian Sanchez, John Deere’s director of emerging technologies, told Mashable at CES 2023 that the reason John Deere is able to continue innovating at such rapid speed is because the company has a list of things farmers want. and really need – and it’s done the groundwork to find solutions.
“I don’t know if we sit down and say, ‘Oh man, how could we beat this? ‘” Sanchez said. “We have a long list of requests from farmers. We keep pulling from that list. They said, ‘Hey, the herbicide is great for weeds. Now we want cameras that detect plant health. “OK, we’ll start working on that.”
“If that sounds like a lot of technology, it is,” May told CES.