Founded in 1890, Kubota developed into one of the largest agricultural engineering manufacturers worldwide. For the 130th company anniversary, Kubota has presented a new tractor in Kyoto, the so-called “X tractor – cross tractor.”
For now, it is a prototype that shows one of the lines of research that Kubota maintains in order to adapt and respond to the needs of agriculture in the coming years. The device is an autonomous, electric concept tractor equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and the latest electrification technology. Its futuristic design with soft shapes stands out as a symbol of the awareness of the company with respect to the environment.
The concept of tractor works on the basis of environmental and weather data. Based on this, the machine automatically selects the best option and initiates measures in good time. All these data collected can also be automatically shared with other machines on-site to achieve more efficient management.
The drive is powered 100% by electricity from lithium-ion batteries in combination with solar cells, which keeps emissions and thus environmental impact as low as possible. The four-wheeled crawler achieves stable autonomous driving even in areas with limited or complicated access, such as rice fields or irregular terrain.
The crawler changes its shape to keep the tractor at an optimum height and adjust the center of gravity to the desired level. The four-wheel motors allow the speed of the crawler tracks to be set as desired and reduce the turning radius. For jobs that require high traction, the center of gravity of the X tractor – cross tractor is lowered by reducing the height of the tractor.
The prototype was presented by the president and representative director of Kubota Corporation, Yuichi Kitao, during an exhibition held in Kyoto (Japan).
As a response to challenges, including Japanese agriculture related to the aging of farmers and labor shortages, Kubota had considered developing autonomously working machines. The company introduced the AGRIROBO series for the first time in 2017 and relied on autonomous agricultural machinery to solve the challenges facing Japanese farmers. The new “concept tractor” is the next sensible step, Kubota explains in a press release.