JCA’s technology portfolio is targeted towards advanced agricultural mobile machines applications. JCA’s approach is to focus on the core infrastructure technologies that are not application specific, thereby enabling our OEM partners in development of customized machine applications that fit their unique market positioning. These technologies are used as building blocks that facilitate rapid development of the custom OEM applications, from connected agricultural implement controls to fully autonomous machines. JCA’s technology road map has been guided by a system approach, considering of all the main pieces of a machine control system and through the experience in working with our OEM partners across many applications. These technologies continue to evolve and driven to adapt leading edge technologies into scalable machine control systems. These technologies are organized into platforms that address the specific needs for agricultural implement control applications, precision agriculture machine applications, and autonomous systems.
Agricultural OEMs have a long history of innovating to meet food production challenges, finding new ways to optimize production through the application of technology. Producers face growing challenges in finding skilled machine operators and growing pressures for applying sustainable farming practices. In the past these challenges have been met through larger implements that allow a single operator to product more, but physical limits to the size of machines is quickly being reached. In parallel with these growing challenges, new types of technologies have emerged over the last decade that allow for new approaches for equipment to meet the continuing needs for increased efficiency of food production. These technologies across connected systems, robotics, and data analytics have made autonomous systems feasible for agricultural applications. The industry is now emerging from the proof-of-concept stage of autonomy into the need for scalable production-ready autonomous machines.
JCA’s autonomous framework (AFW) is a set of technologies that provide the infrastructure technologies on which to build customized autonomous machines. These include advanced technologies in areas such as perception, guidance, robotics, and mission management. Combining elements from agricultural implement controls and precision agriculture, with new emerging technologies from robotics, advanced processing platforms and connectivity the JCA AFW is suited towards autonomous machine applications, but with the reliability and scalability applied from mature agricultural machine controls systems. The JCA AFW lowers the barrier for agricultural OEMs that have a vision for applying autonomy to applications where the value of these systems can be realized in the next step in the evolution of agricultural equipment.
Precision agriculture technologies have continued to develop over the past few decades to facilitate improved machine operation through applying guidance technologies to common use cases such as variable rate application, overlap control, and task management. In the same time interoperability of equipment has improved to allow for mixed fleets of equipment, driven by ISOBUS standards that facilitate a plug-and-play combination od equipment. Recent trends in the advancement of connectivity solutions and farm management systems have produced the potential for even more integration benefits from precision agriculture technologies, however this has also increased the complexity for the operator. The barrier for adoption of precision agriculture technologies has been the challenge of managing data across multiple systems where integration is not smooth, and results in limited access to data and poor user experiences. JCA’s precision agriculture platform addresses these needs through the integration of connectivity and ISOBUS technologies, building on the strengths realized in precision agriculture to augment these with a connected architecture that allows for interoperability between equipment, with a connected system that provides ease of transfer and access to task and fleet data.
This platform is centered around the JCA Vireo system, which is a tablet-based ISOBUS Universal Terminal, and includes an RTK GPS solution, cloud data management system (Cumulus), and integrated task and fleet management with a system that can be integrated to third-party Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS).
JCA’s agricultural controls platform consists of technology building blocks that facilitate the rapid development of customized OEM implement controls. These building blocks include a family of ruggedized machine controllers and special purpose modules that can be used for ISOBUS implement controls systems and/or connected machine controls. The integration of connectivity into the machine controllers allows systems built on JCA technology to be interfaced with customized mobile device apps, or serve as ISOBUS implement control systems or both from the same controller. JCA’s cloud platform technologies facilitate custom OEM cloud data management systems to expand the thinking of machine operations from a single machine to coordination across multiple machines that are connected with a common workflow. With the JCA agricultural implement controls platform, OEMs can define the machine control system that suits their unique needs, and gain the benefit of the a complete ecosystem of JCA technologies that add increased value to the end user.
JCA has built on its experience in development of many highly-automated and autonomous machines for a wide variety of different agricultural applications to define an Autonomous Framework that is adaptable to any autonomous machine.
The JCA Vireo is an evolution of the ISOBUS virtual terminal (VT) to combine the implement compatibility benefits of the ISOBUS (ISO11783) standard with the technology capabilities of tablet devices.
Our experience in ISOBUS systems, smartphone/tablet technology, controls systems, and sensing technology allows us to rapidly enable the agricultural implement innovations of our customers.
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