UV - Unmanned Vehicles

BEI International chooses skilligent as a supplier of a vehicle control system for an intelligent agricultural harvester

16th April 2009 - 16:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Skilligent, Inc will supply a vehicle control system for agricultural harvesters built by BEI International.

BEI International, LLC, a leading manufacturer of agricultural harvesters with more than 50 years of history, today announced that Skilligent Inc will develop a vehicle control system for a range of harvesters built by BEI.

“For more than half of a century, BEI International has been providing farmers in the US and worldwide with reliable and dependable machines for harvesting blueberries, grapes, raspberries, coffee and other crops. Designs of our harvesters are a result of many years of grounded innovation and careful refinement.

Now we are partnering with Skilligent to get access to their expertise in designing reliable intelligent vehicle control systems”, says Rick McKibben, VP, a partner at BEI International.

“Harvesting uneatable biodiesel crops such as Jatropha, poses new challenges to the world economy and the US economy in particular. A large scale Jatropha business needs a lot of inexpensive land and low cost labor to make the business commercially sound. This puts pressure on growers of Jatropha in developed countries such as the US or EU where land is expensive and cheap labor is generally not available. Planting Jatropha on waste lands in remote rural areas is probably the only option for those Jatropha growers.

The problem is that there is very little population in those rural areas – or no population at all. This lack of population calls for more automation in the farming/harvesting process. We are partnering with Skilligent to add intelligent control features to our harvesters to meet these new requirements”, says Max Lint, CEO, a partner at BEI International.

“Blueberry farmers, the cornerstone of our business, will take advantage of all features which comprise the new vehicle control system including automatic row following, RFIDbased yield mapping, automatic harvester leveling, automatic GPS autopilot and remote harvester control. The computerized vehicle control system will come as a set of options available for purchase with all our harvesters”, continues Max Lint.

“Skilligent’s software products are designed for demanding realtime applications such as unmanned vehicle control systems. The software features unique learning capabilities and a fault-tolerant architecture which makes it well suited for use in a design of a highly adaptive intelligent harvester”, says Sergey Popov, CTO at Skilligent Inc.

“BEI International is a great company with a long history of building amazing machines. We are proud to be their partner”, says Thomas Martinson, Chairman of the Board at Skilligent Inc.

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