Continental develops robot platform concept


Continental is developing platform concepts for robots that can be used in agriculture and as part of a larger fleet.

The autonomous robotic equipment carrier can be fitted modularly for a variety of agricultural uses, performing tasks such as monitoring the growth process of plants, precise weeding, or systematically sowing seeds and delivering nutrients. Camera-based, multispectral, or thermographic sensors are particularly important for monitoring plant growth or soil conditions. In this context, Continental has the camera, radar and LIDAR know-how necessary for the safe operation of autonomous vehicles in the field.

Information from sensors forms the basis for calculating driving strategy and can be used for agricultural process automation. To connect the vehicle to the external environment – such as the cloud, other vehicles, or the surrounding infrastructure – Continental offers telematics hardware that is already designed to be compatible with the new 5G communications technology as well as the resources required to program the interfaces and software.

The second generation of the intelligent ProViu 360 surround view system is scheduled to be released in 2020, the digital camera system will provide the driver with a panoramic bird’s eye view of the machine in HD resolution on a touch display. At a later stage, ProViu 360 will become intelligent, allowing valuable additional information such as radar or tire pressure data to be fed into the system. Markings, pictograms, and written information will be superimposed directly onto the camera image, creating an augmented reality experience that can be viewed on the display. For example, the system can display information about the condition of the vehicle, such as tire pressure, as well as obstacles on the ground. This is displayed in an extremely realistic manner and highlighted in color on the screen.

In addition, the company is also unveiling its VF TractorMaster Hybrid at the event. The intelligent tire is equipped with VF technology and sensors that continuously measures and monitors tire pressure and temperature. This is intended to increase productivity, yield, and operator comfort while reducing fuel consumption, tire wear, downtime, and maintenance costs. In addition to tires, rubber tracks with integrated sensor technology will also be on display.

Sensor technology will soon make it possible to permanently monitor belts in combine harvesters, thereby improving the operational reliability of agricultural machinery. Continental is testing a digital belt concept together with agricultural machinery manufacturer CLAAS.

Continental will be at Agritechnica in Hanover from November 10-16 (Hall 4 at booth C22).

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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