In 2018, Valtra’s open design competition invited industrial designers to reshape the landscape of agricultural machinery. By diving deep in desk research and interviewing professionals, I embarked on the creation of Phantom - the autonomous tractor designed for 2030, offering a solution to increasing demands and production pressures.
It was an exciting journey as I pushed my skills in creative problem solving, 3D modelling, and product visualization.
Agriculture stands at the intersection of global challenges: the impending population boom, climate change, and the immense strain these factors place on food production. These monumental challenges have impacted the daily lives of individual farmers, magnifying demands on productivity and leaving less room for downtime or error.
Craft a multipurpose machine for 2030 that addresses these production pressures, maximizes efficiency, and ensures safety.
Balancing the legacy of traditional machinery with the requirements of a rapidly evolving demands.
Research & Discovery
Research & Discovery
Diving deep into the farmer’s life, a coffee chat with Reko, a third-generation farmer and a childhood friend, offered an honest, firsthand look at the escalating pressures from rising produce demands. He painted a vivid picture: the rigorous demands of modern farming, compounded by financial strains, makes it an intensely challenging profession.
Beyond understanding the Nordic working conditions, the project had to address broader challenges like increased efficiency, safety concerns, and the delicate balance of combining autonomous features without compromising on user experience.
Phantom is a semi-autonomous multipurpose machine that is designed to work as independently as possible, but primarily serves as an extension of its user. It can be set to operate on pre-assigned fields or route maintenance without any assistance, but it can also be controlled remotely from another vehicle to execute more precise tasks. In addition to agricultural activities, Phantom’s features would enable it to perform in different utilities ranging from construction work, forestry, to even natural disaster response.
Autonomous linkage enables user to focus on different tasks, while Phantom equips needed implements by itself. Wheelbase is designed so that some implements can be fitted underneath the machine. This makes Phantom extremely compact and agile in urban setting. Tricyclic structure also reduces rutting during rural field operations. Electric in-hub motors offer numerous benefits such as heightened acceleration and maneuverability. Phantom is also equipped with thermoelectric generators that turn waste heat into renewable energy. Thermoelectrics benefit from extreme temperatures and can be harvested throughout the day. Phantom uses LiDar cameras to create a real-time 3D environment of its surroundings. Optical cameras are placed apart to generate a more broader, panoramic field of view. In addition to agricultural activities, Phantom’s features would enable it to perform in different utilities arranging from construction work, forestry, to even natural disaster response.
Within arm’s reach
Phantom can be set to operate on pre-assigned fields or route maintenance without any assistance, but it can also be controlled remotely from another vehicle to execute more precise tasks.
By taking advantage of AgCo Fuse Connected Services, Phantom can calculate time estimations to further improve time management and productivity.
Overcome the elements
Phantom expands on what Valtra has been building on for decades: functional, reliable machinery that suits and adapts to various tasks and needs in the most extreme conditions.
By combining agility, ease of use and a high power-to-weight ratio with autonomic multitasking and diverse implement compatibility, Phantom becomes a valuable asset both in rural and urban environments all year round.
Phantom will join the Valtra family of products as the most advanced multipurpose machine which makes it a truly worthy addition as YOUR WORKING MACHINE.
Interesting philosophy around energy generating and tools attachment makes the concept extra exciting. What caught the jury’s eye from the start was the spectacular appearance housing so much of innovative thinking.
Outcomes and learnings
The Phantom project was both a testament to passion and a lesson in learning by doing. Driven by intrinsic motivation, I navigated the whole design journey, honing time-management skills, and reinventing complex systems, culminating in a comprehensive submission. The effort was recognized with honorary mention, not just for the design, but as an affirmation of the heart and hard work.
A day in the life...
Inspired by the LEGO Mini series, I wanted to spend a day as a LEGO designer. Using a CAD software developed by AFOL community, I started to recreate my tractor concept using as few bricks as possible. It was an exciting challenge that familiarized me with LEGO brick inventory, and also made me appreciate set builders a whole new way.