Kubota to Release Self-Driving Rice Planter

Economy

Osaka, Jan. 15 (Jiji Press)--Kubota Corp. <6326> said Wednesday it will release a rice-planting machine with automated driving functions in October.

The aim of the first such machine of the industry is to reduce burdens on farmers by reducing the need for manpower in the process of planting rice. It will sell for 6,875,000 yen.

The rice planter first creates a map of the rice field using the Global Positioning System while it is driven by a human around the perimeter of the field. It will then calculate its rice-planting route based on the map and automatically plant rice seedlings, according to the major Japanese agricultural machinery maker.

A human driver is not necessary in the planting process, but the machine needs to be monitored by a person with a remote controller.

Rice-planting is usually done by two people--a driver of the planting machine and an assistant who keeps it refilled with seedlings. The automated rice-planter reduces the number of people needed for the process to one as the person monitoring the machine can also refill it with seedlings.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press