Voice Command

Dan Agri View, Technology

Everett Griner talks about tractors that will respond to voice command in today’s Agri View.

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You watch one of those giant new tractors that can plant a dozen rows at a time, or apply twenty-four rows of fertilizer or insecticides simultaneously. All in a half of a mile long row without a bump or a bend. You have to marvel at today’s mechanical engineering. Well, we have only just begun. What about one that stops automatically in case of an emergency. Say, if the farmer becomes ill all of a sudden. His tractor can be stopped automatically. It can give his location. Alert his other workers. Even notify 911 if necessary. Well, that tractor is not here yet but it’s on its way. One university scientist is working on this right now. A tractor that will respond to voice commands. There is a lot of study and research to come, but, who is to say. Look back twenty years. Now look ahead twenty years. Maybe even longer, but tractors that respond to voice command is in our future.

That’s Agri View for today, I’m Everett Griner.

From: University of Kentucky College of Public Health

The primary aim of this project is to determine if a voice-activated cut-off switch is a viable way to prevent injury. The main concern is the amount of background noise associated with tractors and designing a system to specifically recognize a voice. Dr. Rains et al., by using CMU-Sphinx, will create a voice-activated system that is linked to shut off the fuel of the tractor. This project’s results will inform future projects also looking to include technology into tractors as safety systems. This could include sending an emergency help signal if an operator doesn’t respond or has been absent from the seat for a specific time.

Relevance:  This study looks to implement Prevention through Design (PtD). The results of this project will be used to create further studies on prevention systems in tractors. By designing better emergency responses and enabling faster help times, this project will support older and less-abled farmers by limiting their exposure to risk and hazard: cf., e.g., Jenna Jones Benson, “Injury and illness recovery,” Growing Magazine http://www.growingmagazine.com/.