Kubota’s fully autonomous tractor is offering Japanese agriculture an innovative solution to the challenges of an aging demographic.
“Really we’ve been developing this technology for the local market in view of the fact that in Japan, much of the farming population is aging, and we’re starting to see some labour shortages,” says Kubota’s Mel McGlinchey. “So, Kubota being very close, especially to the rice farming community in Japan, has been working on how we can help them overcome those labour shortages.”
The Agri Robo, developed off the base of an L Series tractor, features sensors, cameras and programmable mapping technology, allowing a farmer to pre-program work, and “send the tractor off to do it.”
The tractor will see a limited commercial release in Japan in 2018. It was on display at Agritechnica, in Hanover, Germany, where RealAgriculture’s Kelvin Heppner caught up with McGlinchey: