Fly-by-wire kids tractor

Project  / Project number: YO21/1218  /  Status:

Theo on tractor_crop-daad1632

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The challenge

Reaching the steering on your toy tractor is very frustrating if you are a 20-month old boy. If only you could have a small steering wheel close to your hand that would steer the tractor electrically, like a modern automated (fly-by-wire) tractor!

Fly-by-wire tractors also cost fractions of millions, and unfortunately are not available in a size to fit Theo.

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The solution

The solution was to take a leaf from state-of-the-art tractors currently in use on large modern farms. These are often driverless and the steering is performed by servo-motors in order that the tractor remains, for instance, in line with a combine harvester while grain is being shot into its trailer. This computer control of the steering also allows remote operation, in this case from a small and accessible steering wheel mounted close to the little lad’s hand.

To see a short video of how the tractor was modified, and how Theo got on with his first time at the wheel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGVxqfhBk5Q

The benefit

What this means is that he can play on his tractor, along with his brother, without fear of falling out…and being able to steer it himself, while maintaining an upright posture.

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