- Automatic attachment and detachment of implement paves way for completely unmanned agricultural work -
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has developed a technology that automates the replacement of tractor implement, which is essential for further labor saving in work using robot tractor. This technology is expected to reduce agricultural accidents because it eliminates the need for human intervention during the replacement of implement, which can be dangerous. It saves labor significantly when attaching and detaching implement, and it also contributes to the realization of completely unmanned agricultural work.
Tractors perform various tasks by replacing implements such as cultivators and seeders, so replacing implement is an essential task at production sites. Replacing implement is difficult not only for unskilled workers but also for experienced workers and it is a dangerous task as it requires getting between the tractor and the implement to connect each part. According to JA Mutual Aid Federation, "Analysis of the Occurrence of Farming Accidents Based on Mutual Aid Payment Data," 2022, 18% of tractor farming accidents occur when replacing the implement.
NARO has been working on the development of automatic replacement technology for tractor implement, and to achieve this we have developed the elemental technologies such as: 1) a hitch mechanism suitable for automatic attachment and detachment of implement, and 2) tractor control technology for automatic replacement of implement. We are currently integrating these elemental technologies, incorporating them into a robot tractor, and evaluating the practicality of the system.
This technology is expected to reduce agricultural accidents because it eliminates the need for human intervention when replacing implement, which can be dangerous. At the same time, it greatly saves labor when attaching and detaching work machine, leading to improved work efficiency. It will also contribute to the realization of completely unmanned agricultural work using robot tractors (unmanned agricultural work using remote monitoring, etc.) in the future.