One of America’s largest equipment hire specialists is in discussions with a Co Roscommon company to secure an order for their next-generation smart tractor design.
Enterprise Ireland has revealed that their client, Acres Machinery, Roscommon, and their iTarra tractor, have attracted attention from the industry’s largest manufacturers, as well as being one of the highlights of last week’s Agritechnica show in Germany, the world’s most important platform for innovations in agricultural machinery.
And one of Ireland’s top machinery companies, Keenan, says it is working with Acres owner and founder David Doran on developing a range of Keenan feeders that can work alongside the new iTarra diesel-to-electric, fully autonomous tractor.
According to Acres Machinery, iTarra is the world’s first multi-industry driverless smart tractor.
It has multiple operational drive modes, usable in GPS-controlled autonomous mode; virtual reality which allows the user to carry out tasks remotely from anywhere; or radio control for line-of-sight operation, for example in situations which could be unsafe for a tractor driver, such as sloping ground.
Designed as a diesel and electric, or gas and electric powered tractor, without recharging downtime, it is energy efficient.
It generates 400 volts of electricity to power itself or other implements. So it doesn’t have a PTO, but is a platform to transform compatible farm machinery to electric operation.
This makes for environment-friendly low emissions on the farm, which is one of the reasons Keenan is interested in the iTarra.
Much of the machinery used on farms will move from fossil fuels to electric power, according to Keenan, which is also interested in machines the iTarra for their autonomous capabilities, to cater for the expected continued shortage of farm labour.
The Keenan team is working with Acres and other industry partners to develop prototypes in autonomous machinery.
Another feature of the iTarra is a magnetic pin locking hitch system, without lift arms or top links.