Fully Autonomous Electric Tractor

Dynium Robot specialise in the autonomous systems for use in GPS-limited environments. In 2017 Dynium Robot commissioned Performance Projects to design a diesel-hydraulic powered, dual track autonomous tractor. Building on the success of this partnership, in August 2018 Dynium once again approached Performance Projects to provide an autonomous tractor, this time in four wheel, rear wheel drive all-electric format. The electric platform capitalises on farmers’ ability to generate electricity through on site windfarms and solar arrays, and combine it with vehicle autonomy to maximise return without the burden of traditional operating labour overhead. In other words, the opportunity to use self-generated energy to grow crops an d harvest efficiently, without the necessity to work the land quickly.

Performance Projects worked closely with Dynium to define the key operational requirements and suggest a number of key architectures. Having proven the tracked vehicle concept previously, Dynium requested a four wheeled, rear wheel drive tractor. Performance Projects reviewed base motors and a number e-axles (combined motor and axle assemblies) from a number of providers, as well as a variety cell and module architectures. A vehicle in ‘skateboard’ format was agreed, using high power hub motors drawing power from a bespoke battery pack, with electric power takeoff (PTO) motor and electronic power steering system. The selection, design, procurement and build of the entire vehicle was led by Performance Projects, with the whole project completed in six months.