SEOUL -- Using 5G technologies and an industrial augmented reality solution, LGU+, a mobile carrier in South Korea, demonstrated an unmanned tractor remotely controlled by a farmer to plow farmland or changed broken parts for himself. The company plans to start commercializing it in 2021.
The unmanned tractor was showcased on Tuesday on a rice field in a northwestern satellite city of Seoul, along with a remote diagnostic service that allows users to check the status of tractors in real time.
When Kim Soo-young, a farmer, boarded a remote control adjuster, video footage taken through a full high definition camera installed in the tractor was transmitted through a 5G network to a TV screen. With the activation of an unmanned cultivation system, the tractor plowed the farmland according to the established route.
The tractor was applied with a 5G-based ultra-precision geometrical system, which accurately measures its position and moves it to the path set on the map. LS Mtron, a manufacturer of electronic components, developed the tractor's electronic steering and brake system.
LGU+ said that it has worked with PTC, a computer software and services company headquartered in Boston, to develop a remote diagnostic service that allows users to check the status of tractors. Sensors collect data on the tractor's status and predict when parts will be replaced through virtual simulation based on information collected in real time.
Real-time information can be shown as an augmented reality when the farmer ran an app installed on his tablet. The process of transmission disintegration was displayed by 3D animation on the tablet screen. After confirming how to replace consumables through AR manual, the farmer changed the tractor's air cleaner.
With rapid advances in sensor and computer technologies, there have been growing demands for autonomous equipment at warehouses, distribution centers and construction sites. LGU+ has been involved in a series of projects with other companies to utilize its 5G technology and network for the development of autonomous valet parking robots, unmanned cranes for smart port operation, and unmanned construction machines.
LGU+ said it would expand the use of its service and technology to smart farms and other agricultural machinery and mobile equipment such as forklifts. "Starting with agricultural machinery, we will establish a one-stop support system for farmers," said Lee Hae-sung, executive director of LGU+'s future technology development division. "To this end, we will actively participate in creating an ecosystem and win-win cooperation with various companies."
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