Farmers are looking to do more with less available resources. With the pressure to produce more to sustain a growing world population, farming today is driven by efficiency. Rising input costs and labor constraints in today’s market cause technology to play a critical role in saving resources and maximizing every minute in the field.
Autonomy is the ultimate solution to the productivity problems that farmers are facing since it allows them to reallocate labor resources to cover more acres in a day with less errors. However, there are a lot of variables to manage in each operation, making “robot farming” challenging. At Raven, we specialize in developing cutting-edge innovation that solves farming’s complex challenges. Recognizing the complexity of full farm automation, we are committed to helping farmers progress on what we call the “Path to Autonomy.”
What is the Path to Autonomy?
The Path to Autonomy is a journey that farmers undertake to gain efficiencies, save time, and increase yields by incorporating stages of precision technology into their operations. To explain why autonomy in agriculture is labeled as a “path” and not an “on/off switch,” it is helpful to compare driverless farming implements to driverless cars.
A sprayer is far more complex than a car. Can you imagine driving your car, but with two 20-foot arms extending from the sides — on the narrowest country road? This is like the experience of driving a sprayer in a field — it’s a lot to manage. This is why technology that takes care of even one of those many variables — for example, VSN® Visual Guidance, which automatically keeps the sprayer aligned with its crop rows — is tremendously helpful for an operator.
Driverless farming implements, therefore, require more than driverless cars — in addition to AI-based perception and propulsion, the machine needs to monitor chemical applications, GPS-based guidance (with sub-inch precision), and more. There’s simply too much to manage manually — which is why full “robot” agriculture doesn’t practically exist today. However, for it to exist in the future, it needs to be built on the foundation of precision. Raven has been a leader in precision agriculture technologies for over four decades, and we continue to build on this leadership — integrating technologies to simplify farming operations and to make them more autonomous.
A fully autonomous, or driverless, solution for farmers is made up of a precision agriculture technology network that takes care of all the variables of everyday application. Farmers can also gain efficiencies today and prepare for autonomy by advancing their automated technological capabilities with precision technology. The Path to Autonomy is a more holistic, realistic approach to building the most efficient operation possible today with the attainable goal of a fully automated farm in the long-term.
Today, Raven leads the development of autonomy in agriculture with two supervised driverless solutions — OMNiDRIVE™, an autonomous harvest application; and OMNiPOWER™ 3200, a multi-purpose driverless power platform for seeding, spraying, and spreading. Both solutions are helping farmers be more efficient in the field today.
Trailblazing the Path to Autonomy
Raven is a pioneer in the development of driverless solutions in the agricultural field. Here’s how Raven is leading the development of driverless solutions on the Path to Autonomy.
Our engineering and product development processes are optimized for agility. Our team has unlimited access to test farms near Sioux Falls, SD and Phoenix, AZ for same-day development. The Raven engineering center for excellence in Scottsdale, AZ is designed for software development in an agile, iterative environment — enabling faster and more efficient technology enhancements with user experience at the forefront.
At Raven, we’re committed to helping farmers serve our growing world — which requires us to be excellent listeners first. Our engineers regularly receive direct, specific feedback from our customers to help create products that are solving impactful challenges in the field. The best examples of this are our Top Gun training event roundtables and partner events. Click here to explore some examples of products and innovations that have stemmed from these conversations.
Commitment to Innovation
Raven’s history centers around 65 years of diversified innovation, including over 40 years of precision agriculture specialization and expertise. We continue to build on this legacy of technological leadership. Today, we are focused on bringing the latest artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science solutions to precision agriculture applications, automating the farming operation, and helping our customers serve the world.