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LOGAN, Utah – February 15, 2018 – Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) has been named a finalist for the 2018 Edison Awards for its work in the development of the Autonomous Tractor Concept with CNH Industrial and its brands Case IH and New Holland Agriculture.

ASI is the autonomous technology provider for CNH Industrial, parent company of Case IH and New Holland Agriculture and jointly announced the Autonomous Tractor Concept with those companies in late 2016.

ASI and CNHi Autonomous Tractor Concept

The Autonomous Tractor Concept is the first fully functioning large scale autonomous tractor. It is capable of autonomous seeding, planting, and tillage for broad acre and row crop farming. The vehicles are also capable of obstacle detection which will enhance safety in the agriculture industry.

The Edison Awards, named after Thomas Edison, recognizes and honors the world’s best in innovators and innovations. The Edison Awards will announce gold, silver and bronze award winners at the 31st Annual Edison Awards held April 11 in New York City.

“We’re delighted that the Autonomous Tractor Concept has been selected as a finalist in the Edison Awards,” says Bret Turpin, project manager for ASI Agriculture. “There are many other great companies and exciting products being listed and we’re excited to be listed alongside them.”



ASI previously won an Edison Award in 2013 for its patented Guideline Robotic Convoy System. Guideline is a ground vehicle convoy solution that tethers unmanned follower vehicles to a manned or unmanned lead vehicle. Follower vehicles execute the exact path the leader takes.

All nominations are reviewed by the Edison Awards Steering Committee with the final ballot being sent to an independent judging panel. Final winners will be announced April 11, 2018. The judging panel was comprised of more than 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing and education, including professional organizations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines.

For more information on the Edison Awards, please visit www.edisonawards.com.

About Autonomous Solutions, Inc.

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) designs and manufactures unmanned vehicle systems, software, and components that are OEM agnostic. ASI’s robotic kits and command and control software can be leveraged in a variety of industries including agriculture, automotive, mining, military, security, and industrial applications. ASI’s vehicle automation kits are OEM independent and have been used for many different applications. Clients have experienced enhanced safety, increased efficiency, and improved accuracy.

For over 18 years, ASI has been a leader in vehicle automation. ASI has a strong software team which makes up over half of its engineering work force. ASI’s Mobius software allows for command and control of a fleet of vehicles in addition to ease of use, industry specific task planning, and vehicle diagnostics. ASI has extensive experience automating vehicles of all shapes and sizes with an emphasis on systems integration, obstacle detection and avoidance, tele-operation, and fully autonomous controls.

Media Contact:

Matt Nielsen
Corporate Communications Manager
Autonomous Solutions, Inc.
435.227.7420
matt.nielsen@asirobots.com







Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) and CNH Industrial have announced the unveiling of concept autonomous tractors. ASI is CNH Industrial’s technology provider responsible for developing autonomous vehicle technology for a concept cabless Case IH Magnum and a concept New Holland T8, based on a current production tractor.

The tractors, unveiled today at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, include the ability for autonomous seeding, planting and tillage, for broad acre and row crop farming. Advanced path planning technology will allow farmers to manage their fields efficiently and oversee the overall operation of several vehicles at once. The vehicles are also capable of obstacle detection which will enhance safety in the agriculture industry.

“ASI is the industry-leading developer of autonomous solutions in the off-road vehicle segment"

“ASI is the industry-leading developer of autonomous solutions in the off-road vehicle segment and the natural choice to be one of CNH Industrial’s key technology providers. CNH Industrial has had a long and successful relationship with ASI and we will continue to work together in developing advanced autonomous solutions for the future benefit of our global customers” stated Richard Tobin, CEO of CNH Industrial.

This new technology gives farmers the ability to operate their tractor as both a manned or unmanned vehicle.

At a farmer's command, autonomous tractors can drive from a parking area along private roads to a field and begin work without any intervention.

ASI has nearly two decades of autonomous technology development experience. As a smaller and more agile technology developer, ASI is able to partner with large global companies to help them disrupt their market with multi-vehicle autonomy faster and more economically than they could in any other way.

“Our relationship with CNH Industrial is vital in facilitating the near term disruption of how farming is done. We’re thrilled to be working with the leaders in Ag innovation to make this exciting future of driverless tractors a reality,” says Mel Torrie, ASI founder and CEO. “CNH Industrial’s selection of ASI as a long term, strategic robotic development provider validates the capability and flexibility of our robotics platform in reducing the risk and costs for equipment manufacturers to bring advanced capabilities to their respective industries.”

“Our relationship with CNH Industrial is vital in facilitating the near term disruption of how farming is done."

ASI and CNH Industrial have joined forces to create a development model and architecture framework that is flexible and dynamic, able to quickly adapt and adopt new technologies and standards as fast as they become available. This concept tractor results from the integration of ASI’s autonomous hardware and software with CNH Industrial’s advanced platform.

ASI also leverages this autonomous technology with other large global companies such as FCA US, Ford, Toyota, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Dematic, and a large global security company and others to be announced in coming weeks.

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About Autonomous Solutions, Inc.

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) designs and manufactures unmanned vehicle systems, software, and components that are OEM agnostic. ASI’s robotic kits and command and control software can be leveraged in a variety of industries including agriculture, automotive, mining, military, security, and industrial applications. ASI’s vehicle automation kits are OEM independent and have been used for many different applications. Clients have experienced enhanced safety, increased efficiency, and improved accuracy.

For over 16 years, ASI has been a leader in vehicle automation. ASI has a strong software team which makes up over half of its engineering work force. ASI’s Mobius software allows for command and control of a fleet of vehicles in addition to ease of use, industry specific task planning, and vehicle diagnostics. ASI has extensive experience automating vehicles of all shapes and sizes with an emphasis on systems integration, obstacle detection and avoidance, tele-operation, and fully autonomous controls.

About CNH Industrial N.V.

CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI /MI: CNHI) is a global leader in the capital goods sector with established industrial experience, a wide range of products and a worldwide presence. Each of the individual brands belonging to the Company is a major international force in its specific industrial sector: Case IH, New Holland Agriculture and Steyr for tractors and agricultural machinery; Case and New Holland Construction for earth moving equipment; Iveco for commercial vehicles; Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus for buses and coaches; Iveco Astra for quarry and construction vehicles; Magirus for firefighting vehicles; Iveco Defence Vehicles for defence and civil protection; and FPT Industrial for engines and transmissions. More information can be found on the corporate website: www.cnhindustrial.com

Media Contact

Matt Nielsen
Corporate Communications Manager
matt.nielsen@asirobots.com
435.227.7420


The Robo Universe Logo

ASI was recently a participant and sponsor of the RoboUniverse robotics conference in San Diego, California. Autonomous Solutions, Inc.’s (ASI) CEO, Mel Torrie, was a keynote speaker and a panel member sharing insights into the robotics world. Mr. Torrie discussed many of the successes and advancements that ASI has made in the robotics industry in autonomy. He also presented about many of the challenges facing the industry and some of the paths ASI is heading down.

"We’re going to get to a place where our #trees have #wearable technology like our bodies," says @RobotCEO.
@ASIRobots
#AgTech
#RoboUniverse


As sensor technologies continue to develop, the cost of these sensors will decrease making them more and more cost efficient and more applicable. These sensors could be placed on trees, vines, or in the ground in areas to measure all kinds of important environmental information. This information could be monitored and relayed to an autonomous vehicle that would be tasked to perform a specific action for that specific area.

"Scalability will be limited by serviceability - service and support is critical." @RobotCEO
@ASIRobots
#RoboUniverse

For autonomous vehicles to really move into many various facets of everyday life, scalability will be limited by serviceability. Diagnostics must be reliable and quick to identify any potential issues a system may encounter - then be able to get someone on it quickly to correct the problem.


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Photos © 2015 RoboUniverse Staff


ASI's Forge completes robotic mowing tasks in a California vineyardASI's Forge robotic platform completes robotic mowing tasks in a California vineyard. Robotic farming technologies help specialty crop growers deal with challenges such as labor and safety.

It's amazing to think that the food on your table today was growing somewhere else in the world just few weeks or even days ago. This is certainly the case for fresh fruits and vegetables that farmers often hand-harvest to prevent bruising and leverage local distribution networks to prevent spoilage.

Specialty crops... create an entirely new set of challenges for farmers.

Despite the challenges, according to the USDA's Economic Research Service fruits and nuts account for around 13% of US crop receipts, equating to a staggering $18 billion annually.



Fruits, nuts, and vegetables are part of a produce group called "specialty crops," defined by the Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act of 2004 as "fruits and tree nets, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, medical plants, as well as nursery, floriculture, and horticulture crops."

Legally, specialty crops are separate from other commodity crops like grains and soybeans by a difference in government subsidies, but they also require many "special" considerations such as land, climate, farming techniques, labor, and marketing agreements that create an entirely new set of challenges for farmers.



ASI's Forge rolls through a vineyard in CaliforniaASI's Forge robotic platform rolls through a vineyard in California. Forge's narrow build and powerful pulling capacity make it an ideal technology of the future for specialty crops applications.

Over the past several months, we've had a variety of discussions and site visits with farming groups. From these conversations, we've identified several key challenges that most growers now face.

ASI is working to redefine the term "precision agriculture"

Some of these challenges are more geographical, like the severe drought conditions in the Central Valley of California; and some challenges are felt by all, like labor shortages and lower crop margins. Bottom line, the future of agriculture is changing and will continue to change over the next two decades.

Where are we right now?

As growers face the challenges of modern farming, they are turning to technology as a remedy. We saw a variety of new products and features at the World Ag Expo 2014 in February 2014, demonstrating how companies are focusing on advancing existing technologies like "precision farming." Recent political priorities have caused many government opportunities to dry up for US military contractors, causing them to look for other applications for their products.

In just the past two years, we've seen a substantial increase in the use of aerial drones in farming.



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ASI's robotic Ford Escape was featured at July's Cache Valley Robotics Fair. The event is one of the only places in the world to get a ride in a fully autonomous vehicle.

Amid years of rich aviation history displayed at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, the Precision Farming Expo (PFE) held its second annual meeting. The conference agenda included presentations on issues and trends in agriculture, and growers came from as far away as California and Canada to explore an international lineup of emerging technologies in the exhibit hall.

Making its first appearance in the rich orchard and vineyard region of the Pacific Northwest, ASI's Forge showed growers the benefits of farming robotics.

"It was great to meet growers and hear their concerns," said Matt Droter, Product Owner for ASI. "They're interested in seeing our technology work and discussing how it can help them." Many attendees were familiar with the precision agriculture technologies in current OEM vehicles but were excited to see robotics making headway.

"People didn't know or were even surprised to find out that we have the capability of running driverless," said Droter. "One grower said his biggest challenge was spraying 1500 miles of orchards in five days at two miles per hour. That's a fairly common scenario, particularly in specialty crops, and it's something that can be done robotically."

Mel Torrie, ASI’s President and CEO, gave one of the keynote presentations in the Evergreen Museum's IMAX theater. His session "Changing Gears: How Robotics is Revolutionizing the Way We Grow," gave growers a window into how farming automation is already making positive impacts on efficiency, safety, and yields.

"Most people are surprised when we tell them that we have driverless vehicles out doing productive work for farmers today. Our customers are already coming up with new ways to leverage robotic technology to gather data and change how they grow their crops."


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ASI's Forge™ robotic platform stole the show in Tulare as it rolled through a mock orchard to demonstrate autonomous spraying for orchard and vineyard applications.

Largest Tradeshow to Date

On February 11-13, marketing and sales representatives opened what would be Autonomous Solutions' (ASI) largest tradeshow presence to date at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.

Located in California's Central Valley, the World Ag Expo is one of the premier events in the farming industry, and draws the attention of many local specialty crop growers. The annual expo reports attendance in excess of 100,000 to see more than 60 acres of exhibits and is a frequent stop for political figures and major growing operations. ASI's 40' x 320' booth space featured a 40' exhibit and a 272' mock orchard to demonstrate robotic farming in action.

"We wanted to make a splash," said Mel Torrie, President and CEO of ASI. "Our roots are in farming all the way back to the inception of ASI fourteen years ago, but we've historically developed for the large OEMs which required us to work in secrecy. Our recent products are a very good fit for specialty crops like nuts, vineyards, citrus, and berries. We wanted to tell that story in a big way."

ASI's booth also featured an exhibit by AGGIEAIR, a research division of Utah State University that focuses on farming applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The entire exhibit was designed to provide visitors with a panoramic view of what's currently available in automated farming.





On November 1, 2013, Autonomous Solutions, Inc. celebrated their thirteenth year of business. Since November 2000, ASI has automated more than sixty different types of vehicles; deploy hundreds of robots worldwide; and provided solutions that improve productivity and safety in challenging spaces, including: military, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and automotive.

As the year winds down, we have an opportunity to pause and reflect on the past and make resolutions for the future. This past year was full of exciting events, notable implementations, product releases, and industry awards.

This article will take you through some of the more prominent happenings during ASI's Year Thirteen.

Mar 2013—ASI adopts AGILE development methodology
To deliver the best possible product while being able to accommodate customer feedback, ASI teams adopt AGILE development methodologies.

Apr 2013—Guideline Receives Bronze Edison Award
On April 25th, the prestigious Edison Awards selected ASI's Guideline Robotic Convoy product as a 2013 Bronze winner. Guideline is a tethered, unmanned convoy system currently undergoing in-theater testing.


Ford Robotic Durability Program

Jun 2013—Ford Motor Company Announces Robotic Program
Ford Motor Company announced its robotic durability testing program designed to protect drivers from their most punishing test tracks. ASI's automotive team worked with Ford engineers for three years to supply the vehicle robotics for Ford's program.

Jul 2013—USPTO Issues Two New Trademarks
ASI adds to its store of intellectual property with two new trademarks for the Forecast 3D laser system and the Vantage obstacle detection and avoidance system.

Aug 2013—ASI Announces New Forge Robotic Platform at AUVSI
ASI unveils the new Forge robotic platform at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2013 conference in Washington DC. The new product answer the need for an x-by-wire robotic platform usable across multiple industries.


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As the United States combat presence scales down in the Iraq and Afghanistan regions, so does US military spending on robotics, says Valerie Insinna, Staff Writer for the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). In her recent article Opportunities for Non-Military Robots Increase, Insinna focuses on how Robotics companies will soon find it necessary to look to other markets as defense resources dry up. Many companies are already looking to consumer products and agriculture.

"In the past, defense and security sales made up about 40 percent of iRobot's revenue," Insinna quoted Matthew Lloyd, spokesman of iRobot. "Because of decreased contracts with the military and a 28-percent increase in sales of its home robots such as the Roomba, sales of defense robots are now only 10 percent of the company's business."

Several years ago, Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) found itself with a similar need to innovate. Previous to 2008, ASI relied primarily on military research grants and partnerships with Department of Defense prime contractors. Much of that business dried up as the recession hit commercial and government budgets heavily in 2008.

ASI's President and CEO, Mel Torrie, realized that something needed to happen.

"It was innovate or die at that point," said Torrie. "We recognized that we needed to make a fundamental change not only to where we were getting our business, but also to the kind of offering we provide to our customers." Starting in 2008, ASI expanded product offerings to markets in the private sector.


"Throughout the years, we have done projects in agriculture and mining, so we had a good foundation of understanding and experience to move us into those industries," said Torrie.

"We also recognized that we needed to innovate from being primarily a project-based company to being a product-based company. Some of that transition is still in progress, but we feel that it better positions us to provide what our customers need."

In 2011, ASI also added automotive proving grounds to its pillar markets. Torrie explained that catering to three out of four markets dominated by the private sector will insulate ASI from future downturns in the US military budget as well as downturns in any single industry.

"Long term," Torrie continued, "robotics is going to be critical to the military side of things, so we still have an emphasis there. We have several key product offerings that thrive in both domestic and international military environments. But we've found success in spreading our universal automation technologies into other markets.

"We feel that ASI is well positioned for the foreseeable future and ahead of many companies that are just now finding the need to innovate."

Read more about the future of military ground robotics in the NDIA article: Opportunities for Non-Military Robots Increase.


AUVSI's Brett Davis captured insights from academic and industry professionals at the AUVSI Atlanta Chapter's Conference on Unmanned Systems in Agriculture. His article, Ag Industry Warms to Robotic Technology, Speakers Say, focuses on the benefits of unmanned technologies in agriculture. While the article highlights the impact of unmanned aerial vehicles, farmers can also reap significant benefits from using unmanned ground technologies like vehicle automation, GPS path planning, automated dispatching, multi-vehicle coordination, 3D obstacle sensing, and more. The growing consensus is that agriculture is ready to adopt automated technology on a broader scale. From the Atlanta Chapter Conference speakers, the following emphasizes three reasons now is the time for automated agriculture:

Technology Availability:
"There is a nice selection of vehicles and a nice selection of automated technologies," said Dr. Eric Corban, Chief Technology Officer of Guided Systems Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles. "I believe now is the time, and we need to all oin together and redouble our efforts to solve the regulatory problems and bring this vision that's been around a long time to a reality."

Unmanned technologies are no longer research and development projects. Automated agriculture is now much less expensive, more refined and reliable, and available for a wider range of agricultural vehicles than in previous years.


Greater Need for Efficiency in Farming:
"As an example," Davis recalls from John Beasley, Professor of Crop Physiology and Management at the University of Georgia, "in 1986, about 14,500 active peanut producers planted 675,000 acres. In 2012, about 4,500 active producers planted 735,000 acres. Most of today's producers are strung out with too much acreage and too little time."

The statistics show that farming has become much more efficient today than in 1986, but even with technology advances farmers are still under greater pressure to yield a larger harvest, faster, and with the same or fewer resources. Vehicle automation has the capacity to help overstretched producers meet the challenges of 2013 farming.

Greater Impact and Simplicity:
Part of refining automation technology for farming is providing simplification along with results. "Farmers don't want data," said Gary McMurray, Chief of Georgia Tech Research Institute's Food Processing Technology Division. "They want information. They want action." This type of action can only be achieved if 1) the technology is simple enough for farmers to use, and 2) the technology has the capability to make the job more efficient or more productive. Companies specializing in automated agriculture continually work toward achieving both of these goals in today's products. Interfaces specifically target end users and provide them with valuable information and tools that make large scale farming less challenging and more fruitful.