CNH Industrial N.V., its Design Department, New Holland Agriculture and the Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, launched a project to offer promising design students the opportunity to express their ideas on new agricultural product design. The purpose of the project, led by Amelia Valletta – Domus Academy faculty and Master Car and Transportation Design Course Leader – was to work with an international group of students to develop a vision of farming in the future which is both accessible and sustainable. The project marked the first collaboration between the Domus Academy and CNH Industrial.
The international design students were asked to imagine how farming may develop in the future. The project was not limited to solely restyling a tractor but also on revolutionising the farmer's lifestyle. The fundamental idea featured in a storyboard: "A day in the life of farmer Joe" sketched by the students, was to create a 'command centre' from which the farmer could manage all on-farm activities remotely alongside an autonomous 'Queen' Tractor that controls other vehicles. These "tractobots" are designed with morpho-wheels, which can transform from standard wheels to triangular tracks using the same outer rim and spokes for exceptional all-terrain working. These "tractobots" are monitored by drones to enable the farmer to observe operations in real time.
The sketches and storyboards were reviewed by David Wilkie, Director of Design for CNH Industrial and Guido Bianco, New Holland Chief Designer, who both offered their insight and advice on how to develop their ideas, and the finished project was shared with the New Holland Brand Communications and Marketing Team. One of the students was awarded a three month internship in Turin, Italy, at the CNH Industrial Style Centre.
The project was presented in a public session on June 25 at 'The Future of Farming' event at the New Holland 'Sustainable Farm Pavilion' at Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy. The presentation documented the genesis of the project, its development and final conclusions. "We set ourselves the goal of showing how a world leader of agricultural mechanization interprets the present and prepares for the future of farming in a sustainable and accessible way. Upon seeing the final project we were suitably impressed by the students' innovative ideas and original solutions," said Annemie Lievens, Head of Global Brand Marketing and Communications, New Holland Agriculture.