Britain’s first AI tractor helps young farmers prepare for the future

The AI robotic plough is designed to take to the countryside unmanned for up to 23 hours at a time.

It is directed remotely using a phone or tablet to plough the fields around-the-clock unsupervised.

The tractor – called an AgBot – is being tested by agricultural students at Coleg Glynllifon, North Wales as they look into futuristic farming methods.

But the hi-tech tractor comes in at around £380,000 – where a standard tractor can costs as little £20,000.

The AgBot, which is supposedly smaller and lighter than a traditional vehicle, will be managed by researchers from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Cymru.

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Harry Collins, senior research engineer on the project, said: “The idea behind it is being able to put the AgBot in a field and set it off running with tasks via a phone, laptop or tablet.

“The AgBot has a very sophisticated in-built safety system. If there is an obstruction ahead, the system automatically recognises this and the tractor comes to an immediate stop.

“The online system sends you a notification outlining the problem and provides a list of options of how to fix it.

“This high level of health and safety is a key feature of the AgBot’s operating system.”

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The tractor will be tested on the college’s farm after being handed Welsh Government funding – before it is rolled out at other farms around the UK.

Martin Jardine of the college, said: “It presents a fantastic opportunity to our learners and the Welsh farming community to see first-hand the benefits associated with adopting cutting-edge technology.

“We are very much looking forward to using the AgBot to teach future generations of farmers and land managers about the automation and efficiency gains that can be achieved.”

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