The Orpela Joel-230 is a versatile tractor, designed to be controlled either in the usual way or for autonomous operation, which will be much more common in 2033, enabling farmers to be more efficient.
The cab is therefore designed to act as a control room when used off-tractor, but also operates like a standard on-cab tractor.
A two-layer window construction with gas in between will reduce heat, cold and noise ingress, while the cab’s internal construction is made up of injection-moulded composite materials, forming a tree-like design that allows the exterior to have a more glazed area and smaller pillars.
The cab is tall enough to allow for operation of the machine in a standing position, enabling the operator to move his body, improving his health and productivity. Control during standing is carried out with hands on the screen (like a touchscreen, but with no need to actually touch it). The screen will adjust automatically to the operator’s position, and is transparent to reduce obstacles to vision. There are different screens for each application, such as spraying, ploughing and seeding.
When seated, the operator uses the joystick on the armrest. The seats are made of injected plastic combined with netting to reduce pressure and increase the airflow to the operator’s body. Fixed to the ‘tree’ construction with a flexible composite ‘leaf’, a small movement of the seat is possible to absorb vibrations.
The cab is fitted on a 360° rotating base, as well as on air suspension. It also has four legs when used in the off-tractor position. A collapsible control console unit is used for controlling the transmission when the machine needs to operate manually; or when autonomous work is finished and the cab is lifted up to the tractor, the operator takes control of the driving, and the ‘slave’ units follow the master tractor, rather like a road train.
Because each unit is autonomous, the operator can control a few machines at the same time, effectively becoming a supervisor of the other machines, and taking control of them when required. The Joel-230 needs to be programmed before work, so that when it is on an autonomous mission, it is able to read the surroundings via systems such as GPS, cameras and laser scanners.
The tractor has four electric hub motors, one in each wheel, with the electricity being produced by the onboard fuel cell system. The top of the cab is covered with flexible solar panels to utilise sun energy so, when the cab is demounted, it has its own power supply.
Implements can be operated from both front and back, with any kind of container or liquid tank being carried by connecting to the rail on its body