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Yanmar’s autonomous rice transplanter YR8D saves time and labor

The YR8D is a line of driverless agricultural tractors that involves autonomous rice-seedling transplanter simplifying the process of rice development and reducing owner’s fatigue. It is the same Yanmar Agriculture Corporation from Japan who introduced Smartpilot system. The planter utilizes a ‘thick seedling’ process that makes one tray of seedlings contains far more rice seedlings than the same sized tray grown in the regular process thus saving space, time and labor.

YR8D is diesel powered and equipped with a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) module and can also correspond with a ground-based system for more precise positioning information. Users can also optionally utilize a base station to improve positioning accuracy further.

Image: Yanmar

It also has a waterproof and dustproof 10.1-inch tablet that wirelessly controls the planter. Tablet displays information about the operating conditions and path of machinery with easy to understand icons and illustrations, for smooth operation. Depending on rice paddy conditions and other factors, the planter operates in two modes. The two modes allow various types of work depending on the skill level of the operator and the conditions found in the paddy. When in the linear mode, it is programmed to move straight throughout the paddy with an onboard driver manually steering the vehicle through the turnarounds at the end of each paddy row. While in the auto mode, it can remain driverless and handles the turns on its own. This mode automates the seedling planting system that moves up and down in response to the echelon of terrain.

Image: Yanmar

Farming with Yanmar’s dense seedling technology is carried out in almost the same way as traditional rice transplanting, with the same harvest yields regardless of paddy size, region, and rice variety. Dense seedling technology allows seedlings to be raised in a smaller area with resulting savings in seedling boxes, soil, and the time and labor required to manage the seedling boxes.

The YR8D will be initially available in Japan only by February 1st, 2019. The pricing will range from US$35,230 to US$49,392 (¥3,955,000 to ¥5,545,000).

h/t: New Atlas

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