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2015 AETC Conference: An insider’s look at what ag engineers are talking about

Planting technologies, autonomous vehicles, and the whole topic of open-source data harnessed much of the discussion at the 2015 Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference (AETC) held last February in Louisville, KY.

The Federal Aviation Association and the Open Ag Data Alliance were among the speakers at this year’s event, organized by the American Association of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers (ASABE). Unlike other ASABE conferences, this one is devoted to the “power and machinery” division of agricultural biosystems engineering. Mechanical engineers, many of whom are competitors, go to the conference to learn from each about the latest advancements in machine control and farm machinery design.

“It’s all about the mechanics,” says Douglas Otto, this year’s program chair and general manager of New Holland’s self-propelled forage harvester business. “It is essentially a roomful of engineers. We’re not trying to sell anyone anything. What we’re trying to do is share information about what is the new technology that you have had to pioneer on your own to get this machine to market. We also hold our standards committee meetings here because it is an opportunity where everyone is together.”

Technical sessions included everything from designing Mobile Apps to using 3D printers and standardizing computer code. Here’s a recap of some of the things covered at this two-day event.

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