Tractor using artificial intelligence could be first of its kind in Florida at Auburndale blueberry farm
AUBURNDALE, Fla. - The future has arrived in Auburndale. A national machinery company recently showcased its newest piece of farm equipment at Polkdale Farms, which grows blueberries.
It’s a robotic tractor that uses artificial intelligence.
"For us, it is a game changer," said Polk County Commissioner Bill Braswell, who is a farm owner.
A representative of Monarch Tractor was at the farm recently to demonstrate it.
"We’re out showing dealers, showing farmers, and showing growers what the future of farming is going to look like," said Mike Davidson, a Monarch Tractor spokesman.
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After you program the tractor, it will follow your orders, mowing, and spraying – even shooting video of its trip, which the grower can review to evaluate his crop.
It also has several safety features. It will not cross a road.
If a person or animal gets in the tractor’s path, it stops, alerts the grower, and sends him a video.
The robot tractor costs about $90,000 and up, depending on the upgrades, which is a little more than a traditional manned tractor.
It works about six hours per charge.
Braswell wants to be the first person in Florida to own one. He says it is one way around the ongoing farm labor shortage.
"If I can replace somebody," he said, "which is what this is doing, it works great for us."