It took more than a year, but University of Missouri researchers welcomed the arrival of one of the nation’s first-of-its-kind electric, autonomous tractors. It’s known as the Monarch MK-V tractor. Researchers called it a “revolutionary piece of technology” that will get studied for its ability to refine agricultural practices and support farmers with disabilities.
The University received the tractor as part of a grant awarded by the USDA’s Equipment Grants Program. The new tractor, to be charged with a biofuel generator, will serve as a tool for teaching and research in the agriculture and engineering programs. Researchers will explore the autonomous functions of the tractor, like making use of the sensors and cameras to collect images and then store the data from those images.
They also want to understand the tractor’s ability to use artificial intelligence to enhance precision agriculture. Researchers are quite excited about the next generation of technology.