How to control a front loader?

Hot Team

What is a front loader you might ask? A front loader is the liftning arm on farming tractors, you can equip them with different tools such as buckets, forks and lifting equipment.

The company Ålö who produce front loaders contacted our school and asked if we could improve the way users control their front loader. This let to a project in the course Hot team, the aim with the Hot team course is to mix students from different programs and form groups to work with a project. My Hot Team consisted of 5 students from Industrial Design, Linnea SilverGabriel UgglaFanny Eklund, Jonna Mårtensson, Kristian Jonsson and myself.

One of Ålö’s current solution is a tall stick from the floor with limited ways to interact with, front/back and left/right. And another solution is a handheld small thumb-joystick with buttons for all other fingers and a small display. We did an widespread research, tried many different solutions and ultimately decided to go with a quite traditional joystick. My main task in the project was to code and implement a miniature tractor controlled with a joystick, the miniature tractor was used for testing different shapes of the joystick and different positions for the buttons.

To control the tractor I used a Arduino Uno, one big and one small rc-servo, two potentiometers and a button. If you are interested to se the code please send me an email!

Here’s a video of the tractor, sorry for flickering lights and absence of sound.