Jonathan Gill, a Mechatronics Teaching Assistant at Harper Adams University, has been working on TSB funded research with Big Bale Co. The project is developing a bale handling and logistical management tool that will work within a Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) system.
The automated machinery system will collect and transport straw bales within an arable field, using an auto ‘grab’ and ‘load’ capability with new sensors. This is where Gill came in, helping to get the system working automatically and adding the sensors for bale recognition. Development began in 2014 and the product is expected to be launched in 2018.
Harper Adams University is also working on a new project called ‘Hands Free Hectare’ to farm one hectare of arable crop, from establishment to harvest, with no in-field human intervention.