Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 4

TECHNICAL
INNOVATIONS
AUTONOMOUS
Lidar lets Vermeer automate baling processes
Vermeer Corp. is expanding
the off-highway industry's push
to remove drivers, bringing
autonomous operations to the
arduous task of retrieving
baled hay with a concept vehicle
that carries up to three
bales. The Pella, Iowa-based
manufacturer is further increasing
its digital footprint with
three more products: a baling
system that automates driving,
a predictive maintenance sensor
for bearings and an app
that simplifies billing for agricultural
service providers.
The new products and concepts come from
SAE INTERNATIONAL
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jeff Hemphill
President
Todd Zarfos
2020 President
Srinivasa (Sri) Srinath, Ph.D
2022 President Elect
Susan Ying, Ph.D
Vice President - Aerospace
Ken Washington, Ph.D
Vice President - Automotive
Vermeer's autonomous Bale Hawk concept picks up and stacks three bales.
Vermeer's Forage Innovations Group, which
explores next-generation technologies. Lidar is
a mainstay in the two autonomous baling systems,
guiding vehicles through fields to complete
different tasks related to hay production.
The bale-mover concept, dubbed Bale Hawk,
navigates around the field autonomously, spotting
bales, picking them up and moving them
to a new location.
" This machine helps save labor time and associated
costs by eliminating the manual step
of moving bales, " said Kent Thompson,
Vermeer's research and development manager.
" The autonomous bale mover senses where it
is relative to a bale, allowing it to plan a route
to pick up that bale. Today, it can pick up three
bales at a time before delivering and unloading
them to a predetermined location. "
Bale Hawk concept
System designers initially planned to use stereo
cameras to spot bales and move in to retrieve
them, but that machine-vision approach fell
short. Instead, they turned to lidar, which augments
cameras by sending out pulses that
bounce off obstructions and provide more information
on distance. Four modules are currently
being employed on the Bale Hawk.
" We use a Velodyne multi-plane lidar on the
front to get a point cloud that lets us pinpoint
the location of bales, " Thompson said. " Three
Sick single-plane lidars on the sides are for
detecting anything that might be in the way. "
Those lidar sensors have moving components,
which makes them larger than solid-state units
touted by a number of lidar suppliers. However,
4 October 2021
lidar suppliers are not yet shipping solid-state
devices that meet off-highway requirements, so
electromechanical modules are being used.
Autonomous bale pickup was deemed a viable
design goal because retrieving bales in
large fields that may have hundreds of bales
scattered about is a tedious, boring job.
Finding bales and moving up to them is a task
that requires both a powerful and a deft touch.
Even though bales can weigh from 1,000 to
1,800 lb (454 to 816 kg), they still need to be
handled with care. Improper handling can
damage bindings, causing breaks that lead to
lost material. Thompson noted that design
goals included compact size, a challenge that
was made slightly easier because speed is not
a major factor.
" We wanted the machine to be nimble, not to
be intimidating, " Thompson said. " We have the
benefit of time; we don't need to go fast. It's
nowhere near moving at passenger-car speeds. "
Like most groups working on autonomous vehicles,
Forage Innovations looked outside for help
in the complex task of automating movement.
Vermeer partnered with Southwest Research
Institute (SwRI) to gain expertise in areas such as
locating bales and determining how to approach
them. The partners worked persistently for a couple
of years, but Vermeer's team needed to shift
its focus to another product. Once that program
was completed, they resumed work and quickly
finished the Bale Hawk concept vehicle that's
now being shipped to a few select customers.
The move to autonomy is causing design
teams throughout the transportation industry
to change the way they test equipment. There
is an almost infinite number of variables that
Michael Weinert
Vice President -
Commercial Vehicle
Andrew Jeffers
Treasurer
David L. Schutt, Ph.D
Chief Executive Officer
Gregory L. Bradley, Esq.
Secretary
Pascal Joly
Jeff Varick
Rhonda Walthall
Joan Wills
SAE International Sections
SAE International Sections are local
units comprised of 100 or more SAE
International Members in a defined
technical or geographic area. The purpose
of local Sections is to meet the technical,
developmental, and personal needs of the
SAE Members in a given area. For more
information, please visit sae.org/sections
or contact SAE Member Relations Specialist
Abby Hartman at abby.hartman@sae.org.
SAE International
Collegiate Chapters
Collegiate Chapters are a way for SAE
International Student Members to get
together on their campus and develop
skills in a student-run and -elected
environment. Student Members are vital
to the continued success and future of
SAE. While your course work teaches
you the engineering knowledge you
need, participation in your SAE Collegiate
Chapter can develop or enhance other
important skills, including leadership,
time management, project management,
communications, organization, planning,
delegation, budgeting, and finance. For
more information, please visit students.
sae.org/chapters/collegiate/ or contact
SAE Member Relations Specialist Abby
Hartman at abby.hartman@sae.org.
TRUCK & OFF-HIGHWAY ENGINEERING
VERMEER
https://www.sae.org/participate/membership/sections https://www.sae.org/participate/membership/collegiate-chapters

Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021

Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - CVR4
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - CVR1
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - CVR2
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 1
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 2
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 3
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 4
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 5
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 6
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 7
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 8
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 9
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 10
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 11
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 12
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 13
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 14
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 15
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 16
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 17
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 18
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 19
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 20
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 21
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 22
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 23
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 24
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 25
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 26
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 27
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 28
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 29
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 30
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 31
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 32
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 33
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - CVR4
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/sae/21TOHE12
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/sae/21TOHE10
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/sae/21TOHE08
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/sae/21TOHE06
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/sae/21TOHE04
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/sae/21TOHE02
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com