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Mojow developing reactive camera-based system for self-driving tractors

By: Kelvin Heppner

July 29, 2022

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An Edmonton-based autonomous agriculture start-up is developing a camera-based system that allows self-driving tractors to recognize and respond to changes in their surroundings.

Mojow Autonomous Solutions was incorporated in early 2020.

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“We’ve developed an autonomous navigation and control kit that uses a camera for its main sensor,” explains founder and CEO Owen Kinch.

“It allows us to take an intake of 10 to 35 image-frames per second and analyze each and every pixel, looking for patterns, and ultimately what we’re doing is we’re creating a digital twin — a digital representation of the real world,” he explains.

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As part of Mojow’s demonstration at Ag in Motion, a driver on an ATV drove in front of the self-driving tractor. The tractor recognized the obstacle and recalculated its path in real time to drive around the ATV.

The demo also featured the tractor transitioning a land roller from working field state to road transport mode and vice versa.

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“We’re using the cameras as our feedback mechanism on how we control the steering, the propulsion, when to activate the remotes at the right time and step — very much like a human does, but our controller is doing it autonomously without the help of a human,” explains Kinch.

The controller is primarily communicating with the tractor via the CANBUS plug. “We take in that data, and we have our own sensors — primarily the camera, but also GPS and IMU, we analyze all that data in real time and basically get the job done in a changing work environment without any work stoppages.”

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Mojow is developing a generic kit, but is also looking to build relationships with large manufacturers, he says. “We want to make a large impact, and we think through relationships with OEM partners, that’s going to be how we make the largest positive impact in ag,” says Kinch.