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Autonomous vehicles that lay and remove electrical cable to power agricultural machines without getting in their way

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jul 01, 2022
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Autonomous utility vehicle that seamlessly lays and subtracts electrical cable around an agricultural machine so as to provide it with power without getting in its way.
  • Solar powered large agricultural/industrial machines.
  • Battery technology is still prohibitively expensive and heavy to power strong agricultural, construction and forestry machines. This is one of the bigger factors that prevent the world from cutting fossil fuel usage.
  • Provide the agriculture, forestry, and construction industries with the convenience of electric-powered machines without having to endure the shortcomings of batteries (heavy weight, low duration, long recharging time, high cost).
How it works
An autonomous all-terrain utility vehicle (UTV) that carries a large spool of electrical cable (500 - 1000 meters) on the back. The cable extends all the way to a power outlet and brings electricity to the field, forest, or construction site.

The UTV has a smaller spool mounted on the roof and connected to an extendable boom arm like so (but higher and thinner):

This shorter cable is hooked directly into the agricultural/forestry/construction machine.
The UTV follows the large machine around, at a good enough distance so as not to obstruct its movements. It's powered by software that predicts the machine's movements. The UTV basically acts like the large machine's shadow and gets the cable out of its way.
Dynamic spools
Both spools are dynamic - meaning the cable extend and subtract as the UTV moves in the field. The UTV can swiftly move all around the big machine laying and picking up the main cable as it moves.
It never runs over any cables. When the UTV reverses, the cable behind it is subtracted at the same speed the UTV reverses. The cable subtraction mechanism cleans it before rolling it onto the spool.
The UTV's boom/arm also moves dynamically. Because of it, the shorter cable never touches the ground.
Usage example
Imagine a large tractor plowing a field. The UTV follows it with cable and then gets it out of he machine's way on the way back. One end of the cable is hooked to a solar array, the other powers the tractor. The UTV makes it possible.

1 km of cable should be enough for field work. If it isn't the UTV can unroll and connect several rolls, then work only with the last roll while the rest are temporarily extended in the field.
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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
It looks like this already exists

Please leave the feedback on this idea