Arduino forum user MX270a, otherwise known as Lance has posted up an amazing project. He has automated a Case International Harvester 2588 with an Arduino and a Windows 7 computer. The very large harvesting machine has 250 horsepower and weighs about 30,000 pounds. He is using the machine to harvest soybeans and it travels at about 5 miles per hour when harvesting.
The computer is used to process GPS data and calculate steering angles. The Arduino is used to control a hydraulic valve, which steers this giant beast.
Lance states he has what they call a cross track error, or basically going off path, of about 1.5 inches. So the machine stays within 1.5 inches of it’s target path.
The system also has several failsafes built in. If the machine goes over 6 MPH , loses communication with the Arduino or anyone touches the steering wheel it basically stops dead. There is also a kill switch in the cab.
According to the forum, you can by a similar pre made system from John Deere for about $40,000. Nice way to save a lot of dough.
Awesome job Lance!
Click through for a video.