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Teaching Precision Agriculture Technology with Modified Diesel Golf Cart

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131620550,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Hunter F Massey, Kendall R Kirk
Keywords:   Precision agriculture Variable rate control GPS guidance GIS Zone management Teaching agricultural mechanization Power machinery.

Abstract. A four passenger electric golf cart was donated to the Clemson University Agricultural Mechanization and Business (AGM) program. Creative Inquiry (an undergraduate research program) and senior capstone students replaced the existing electric drive golf cart by designing and building a powertrain utilizing a diesel engine with a hydrostatic transmission. A design constraint imposed required that the golf cart be suitable for use by Agricultural Mechanization & Business instructors as an educational tool to teach students activities in laboratories, most specifically as a mobile precision agriculture teaching platform. The golf cart is capable of carrying four people safely, and can be used to demonstrate agricultural power and machinery principles in addition to precision agriculture technologies. With the incorporation of GPS guidance and variable rate controllers, students have the opportunity to control and learn the technologies and operations as passengers, rather than as operators. Such in-field teaching activities would otherwise have to be conducted on a tractor or harvester with only a single operator, the student. Such a platform allows the students to place all of their focus on the precision agriculture technologies while in the field. After students are familiar with the on-board guidance, data acquisition, and controller technologies, they can proceed to in-tractor applications of the same technologies where they can place less focus on learning and more focus on applying what they have learned. The learning process is improved additionally by the ability of the instructor to be on board the equipment during student operation, to assist with trouble shooting and other learning barriers.

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