On September 29th The ceremonial presentation of the renowned Red Dot Design Award took place at the Red Dot Design Museum in Marina Bay / Singapore. In the “Mobility and Transport” category, the Feldschwarm project with the TU Dresden and other partners was nominated for this award and ultimately won it over 3,000 nominees. Marek Holovac and Felix Schmitt from TU Dresden had the honor of accepting the award on the big stage in Singapore. We would like to thank everyone for their collaborative work on this project and congratulate everyone involved on the award!

Honoring the best at the awards ceremony in Singapore 

The development of Feldschwarm is rooted in paradigm shift — going against the trend of making machinery larger and more powerful. The highly automated units are only 3 metres wide, which allows for more efficient operation on small EU fields and easier transportation in traffic. Other than conventional tractors, the FS unit carries the implement between the axles, which improves weight distribution and reduces critical machine-soil interferences. Units are capable of advanced autonomous operation, and only rely on operator’s intervention in exceptional situations. This calls for operation environments and systems that enable centralised teleoperation of multiple machines, rendering cabins obsolete while necessitating advanced HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces). 

This concept anticipates a future transition that will affect many machines and domains. The completely new system architecture necessitates a machine design that goes beyond exterior styling. The power module takes up the space previously occupied by machine cabins. This new position allows for quick service and is supported by a split in the body work for access to the inner part and access points (such as ladders) that have been integrated directly into the design. The machine design follows a holistic strategy that prioritises functional integration, technology demonstration, and automation transparency. The HMI concept recognises that operators play an important role in the system as educated correctives to automation. The Feldschwarm-HMI combines the operating paradigms of familiar interfaces and management applications to provide a mobile swarm control panel for multiple autonomous agricultural machines equipped with various tillage tools.

The design principles follow the operator’s focus: what is the system doing now? What will it do next? The UI must always provide a clear and concise response. The integration of vehicle data with various tools and tasks poses challenges to simple but comprehensive information mapping. A consistent UI architecture improves operator comprehension and perception, ensuring that it can present status information with adaptable focus. The interactive map becomes the new central monitor and work area, allowing contextual and temporal zooming. It allows operators to easily switch their focus between multiple machines and missions. The touch user interface, enhanced with physical controls, combines the flexibility of a touch-display-based interaction with the operational security of physical controls, enabling operations from both the vehicle cabin and the field or the edge of the field.

  • Georgsmarienhütte
  • 03.11.2023