Returning to its roots in farming, Doosan Bobcat unveiled the AT450X enabled by Agtonomy, its first autonomous, electric articulating tractor at CES 2024.
The battery-powered AT450X combines Bobcat’s articulating tractor with Agtonomy’s software and embedded-computing technology to support emissions-free and autonomous operation of time-intensive tasks.
The agriculture industry is a significant part of Bobcat’s history. The original skid steer machine invented by Cyril and Louis Keller was put together to assist a turkey farmer looking for a machine to help clean out a barn.
“Here we are over 65 years later and we're using a different type of vehicle to solve another type of agricultural issue,” said Joel Honeyman, Doosan Bobcat vice president of global innovation. “We've been doing this throughout our history but it's really fun to be back into what I would consider more of a production agriculture setting and back to our roots.”
To operate, users plot the machine’s mission path via Agtonomy’s mobile application. This allows the end user to execute and monitor jobs running on an unlimited number of connected machines simultaneously which can yield a positive ROI for owners.
The AT450X can also navigate on slopes with attachments following the ground contour for professional results in one pass. Operators can control the machine to operate autonomously, via advanced remote control or manually, across various terrains.
“By digitally transforming the equipment farmers know and trust, we can help them combat the daily challenges they face, such as labor constraints and the ever-increasing demand for sustainable farming practices in specialty crops,” said Tim Bucher, CEO, and co-founder of Agtonomy. “The Bobcat AT450X with Agtonomy’s TeleFarmer technology makes the perfect end-to-end solution for agriculture and other industries allowing both companies to make a positive impact and that is what it is all about.”
It is designed to work autonomously or remotely carry out tasks in compact applications, such as vineyards and orchards.
Operators can control the Bobcat AT450X to operate autonomously, via advanced remote control or manually, across various terrains.Bobcat“It is an autonomous, environmentally friendly machine that we can put into a vineyard t without the intervention of people to be able to do the things that people need to do when you can't get the people,” said Scott Park, Doosan Bobcat CEO, and vice chairman.
According to Bobcat, owners can remotely direct the tractor to execute a wide range of tasks, including mowing, spraying, precision weeding, product and material transport, and other labor-intensive activities.
Leveraging AI, the machine constantly “learns” and dynamically reacts to its environment.
For example, through vision-based systems, it can detect known and unknown objects to auto-stop operation if needed. It can also detect crop stems from weeds, for more precise spraying applications and reduced chemical usage.
“Our mission at Bobcat is to empower people to accomplish more. Through strategic partnerships with companies like Agtonomy, we are committed to advancing our worksite solutions to help solve our customers’ toughest challenges,” Park said. “By combining our proven equipment with the latest technologies, we are reinventing how work gets done.”
Capable of 24/7 operation, batteries in the AT450X can be swapped when one needs to be replenished. The machine returns to its home base when the battery is low, switching to a fully charged battery and placing the low one on the charging station.
With the lack of emissions, the autonomous tractor also would be viable for operation in food storage facilities.
Accelerating the future of how work is done
Bobcat and Agtonomy announced a partnership focused on advancing productivity in the agriculture industry through collaboration in the areas of electrification, autonomous operation, and digital technology. Bobcat’s involvement was amplified with a strategic investment in the company to further grow the relationship.
The partnership between Bobcat and Agtonomy goes beyond the AT450X, as the two companies are collaborating to create more innovative ways to increase productivity and performance across a range of Bobcat equipment and markets.
Agtonomy is one of many technology companies or firms Bobcat has either partnered with or invested in to advance its three pillars of innovation: electrification, autonomy, and connectivity.
And that's around electric electrification, connectivity, and autonomy. We recognize that those technologies are important for us to advance our innovation process, but also to help our vehicles move into those new spaces,
“Having these partnerships with companies like Agtonomy helps us match up the great equipment that we've made for more than 65 years, with the new and emerging technologies to make new solutions to help our customers be more productive on the job site, or in this case on the farm,” Honeyman said. “What we're trying to do is take this great equipment that we've designed and made for the last 65-plus years and combine it with these leading cutting-edge technologies in those three areas.
He noted that's why it is key for Bobcat to continue partnership with similar technology companies and apply the technology to its machine solutions to create entirely new solutions.
“That’s really what innovation is,” Honeyman said. “As we innovate for the worksites of tomorrow, solutions like the AT450X will help make farming more sustainable and efficient through digital advancements.”
Other innovations on display at Bobcat’s 2024 CES booth include the T7X, and S7X all-electric compact track loader and skid steer models.
Within the Sustainability, Eco-Design & Smart Energy, and Smart Cities categories, Bobcat was recognized with a 2024 CES Innovation Award for the S7X.
The CES Innovation Awards were announced ahead of the show which is being held this week in week in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bobcat also is showcasing its latest concept loader, the RogueX2, the second iteration of the company’s driverless all-electric and autonomous concept machine. The RogueX concept machine was first revealed at ConExpo 2023.
Watch for an upcoming story on the Rogue X2 at Equipment World.
Among its new concept introductions, Bobcat has commercialized several innovations in the areas of connectivity, electrification and autonomous operation, including its battery-electric excavators, the all-electric Bobcat T7X compact track loader, Bobcat MaxControl remote operation, Bobcat Machine IQ, Features on Demand, among others.
“Invention is not new for our company; it’s how we started and how we continue to evolve,” Park said. “And just as our equipment design has evolved over the past six-plus decades, we are continuing to advance it with new technologies to be smarter, faster, more powerful and more sustainable. We are re-envisioning our solutions through the lens of tomorrow’s jobsite and our customers’ needs.”
Capable of 24/7 operation, batteries in the AT450X can be swapped when one needs to be replenished.Bobcat