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Case Studies

How Sabanto Uses The GNSS Compass To Revolutionise Farming

Stephane RecouvreurBy August 19th, 2021No Comments

The GNSS Compass is enabling autonomous farming

Using the GNSS Compass, Sabanto enables farmers to operate multiple machines with minimal personnel
Standing up to challenging weather and dynamic landscapes, GNSS Compass proved capable of providing reliable and accurate positioning

Sabanto is an emerging FaaS (Farming as a Service) solution that has quickly earned acclaim for its innovative autonomous tractors and planters. They are well-positioned to revolutionise the farming industry. Using autonomous equipment, Sabanto allows their customer’s farming operations to be faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

Founded in 2018, Sabanto has introduced autonomy to agriculture, converting tractors into autonomous tractors with their systems and deploying them through franchises. Sabanto’s rapid success has come from constantly testing and innovating its system. As they continue to pioneer autonomous agriculture, Sabanto’s autonomous tractors and planters need to perform at the highest standard with no margin for error.

Their innovative approach to farming services has garnered Sabanto much praise in the industry, with their cutting-edge technology allowing them to win the 19th annual Chicago Innovation Awards program in 2020.

The Challenge: Safe autonomous farm equipment operated by minimal personnel

Sabanto sought to create autonomous farm equipment that could be operated by minimal personnel. In the wake of COVID-19, being able to operate autonomous machines efficiently and safely from home during quarantine made the need for precise navigation and heading system paramount. But this comes with certain challenges: 

  1. Accuracy: The navigation system needs to be highly accurate so the autonomous tractors and planters stay within the boundaries of which they should be working. 
  2. Reliability: The accuracy of the navigation system also needs to be reliable enough to navigate efficiently in extreme weather conditions and landscapes, as any inaccuracies in satellite tracking could prove to be costly for the farm manager. Furthermore, the equipment has to operate effectively for long periods of time, in some cases up to 40 hours of work in the field. The navigation system used with the autonomous equipment would need to be consistently accurate to keep track of each tractor’s heading for that entire time period.  
  3. A Plug and Play system: Sabanto needed a system that could be easily integrated into the technology they had developed. A simple, plug and play solution was required to be installed with no inconvenience.

A Sabanto tractor with a GNSS Compass mounted on top

The Solution: The GNSS Compass

 The GNSS Compass was ultimately chosen as the navigational system for its superior accuracy, reliability, and ease of use in the challenging conditions Sabanto’s autonomous farming equipment would be operating in. 

“Durability, dependability, and dust and waterproofing were large parts of our choice due to the harsh environment we operate in” said Craig. “All drivers for the GNSS Compass are open source, well documented, and easily available on GitHub.” 

Advanced Navigation’s open source drivers allowed us to get up and running very quickly. The device required a single waterproofed cable for operation and never failed on us in the field. The reliability of the GNSS Compass gave us the peace of mind required to operate fully autonomously from Spring to Fall of 2020.

Craig RuppCEO, Sabanto

“The GNSS Compass enabled us to operate multiple autonomous agricultural pieces of equipment in the field without issue while we remained at home during quarantine. We were able to trust that our systems would safely stay within the field boundary outlined via our mapping software.”

The Outcome: A reliable system enabling autonomous farming

This is only the beginning of what Sabanto will be using the GNSS Compass for, with the GNSS/INS solution proving to be well-suited for Sabanto’s future plans for expanding their fleet of autonomous farming technology. 

Reflecting on the future, Craig says “We plan on scaling up our usage of the GNSS Compass to support a multitude of units operating in different states across the country.”

GNSS Compass

The GNSS Compass is a low-cost all-in-one GNSS/INS navigation and heading solution. It provides accurate dual-antenna GPS-based heading that is not subject to magnetic interference and can maintain accurate heading during GNSS outages of up to 20 minutes. It features high accuracy RTK positioning and is plug and play with NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, and Ethernet interfaces.