The wireless crop sprayer

Imagine that you are an agricultural contractor and you want to be able to see, where all your machinery is right now, and what they are doing. Or that you are a farmer sitting at home in front of your desktop computer wanting to schedule the following day’s spraying of your fields – and to send the spraying schedule back to your tractor’s ‘computer’.  

Right now this isn’t possible, but hopefully it will soon be, thanks to the LandIT project, which is headed by CISS. The project concerns working with standardised computer and internet-based possibilities for systems receiving, processing and sending data from fields and stables to the other agricultural operating systems. For instance to the farmer’s desktop computer, to the agricultural contractor – or to the plant consultant at the local agricultural centre. One of the companies that have entered into the LandIT project is Lykketronic A/S, which develop and manufacture operating systems for agricultural machinery. The company is situated a few kilometres from Løgstør in Northern Jutland and had never heard of CISS before being approached about the project.  

Operating systems – an island

”The challenge that we are facing today concerns the fact that traditionally, operating systems in agricultural machinery have been ‘an island’. We develop and tailor-make solutions according to our clients’ needs, and everything that is placed on a tractor, a manure spreader or a combine harvester need to be able to endure extreme exposure – to shaking, water and frost – therefore, we pick out every single component. And we ourselves also program control algorithms and automated work processes. Today, the controls cannot communicate with other components unless we program the systems accordingly. So for us, the aim will be to integrate a kind of computer on the tractor and at the same time to an increasing degree standardise it all – for instance on a Linux platform – enabling it to communicate wirelessly with fleet control systems, field maps, accounting systems and so on,” sales manager at Lykketronic A/S Henrik Lund Jensen explains.

”We have no in-depth experience with databases – but the people at CISS do. Consequently, we accepted the offer of participating in LandIT. Skov A/S, who manufacture air-conditioning systems for stables, are also participating in the project, and ours and their interests are essentially converging, so in that way, the combination of participating companies and researchers in the project has proved to be a good match.

Wants to make use of CISS

If the project succeeds, farmers will not only be able to transfer data from fields and stables to their own desktop computers in their offices – it will also be possible for a company such as Lykketronic to increasingly provide remote service for the end users driving around with Lykketronic’s technology in their agricultural machinery.

”As a company, the encounter with the world of research is also an encounter with a different and more theoretical approach to problems. That takes a little getting used to. But it is very clear that there is a lot of knowledge that we can benefit from, and therefore, establishing this contact with CISS is a very good thing – also because they can function as bridge builders bringing us into contact with the rest of the world of research. As a company, we cannot make a living from doing research – on the other hand, we have a practical approach to things. I am convinced that we can benefit from the contact,” Henrik Lund Jensen points out and continues: “Encountering CISS has been a beneficial experience, and Lykketronic would be pleased to collaborate with CISS in the future.”