MAPS (Mobile Agricultural Power Solutions), Purdue, ACREST (African Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies)
The AgRover is a three-wheeled farm truck that hauls goods and doubles as a power source for attachable tools. The truck provides power and transportation to small-holder farmers and agricultural businesses that would otherwise not be possible. Apart from transport, the AgRover also power attachments such as water pumps, maize grinders, generators, threshers and planters, and it can pull a plow. In areas where people carry water jugs and sacks of produce on their heads between farms, homes and markets, the AgRover provides hauling capacity that saves time and, ultimately, money.
Sub-saharan Africa, primarily Cameroon
MAPS, or Mobile Agricultural Power Solutions, is the primary distributor.
This product is still being prototyped. Currently, the cost of build is roughly $2000.Interview with designer
Alternatives include traditional tractors or plowing by hand or horse.
A typical end-user for the AgRover would be a farmer or a transportation service business. The direct buyer for the AgRover would be a farming co-op, large farm, business, or local government. Farmers (or dedicated rental businesses) can also rent out the vehicle’s services to other farmers to earn more money while boosting the productivity of other farms. A smallholder farmer with no way to irrigate his crops could rent a AgRover and pump attachment to boost his field’s yield. Additionally, smallholders could rent the AgRover to transport their harvest.
This product was been developed and manufactured through a student team over an iterative process. The prototypes are built and tested in the US and in Cameroon with ACREST, or African Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies.Interview with designer
Currently, the designer distributes this product though a donation model to farms and businesses at a local level for field testing. They are targeting medium to large farms and service, distribution, and collection businesses in Africa.Interview with designer
Over the last seven years, seven prototypes have been manufactured locally in Cameroon. Six Agrovers have been built and distributed in four countries.
This rugged, three-wheel vehicleis capable of navigating terrain both on and off road while carrying a payload of up to 2000lb (900kg). Its design translates into a top speed of 20 mph. Testing showed fuel economies of 40 to 60 mpg (18 to 26 km/l) for the 10 hp diesel engine option.
The truss-shaped chassis ensures it is lightweight and strong. The frame is made of commonly available angle iron. It utilizes three wheels to save on cost.The suspension on all three wheels reduces the high stresses in the frame and ride quality. A trailing arm with a torsion bar is used for the rear suspension, providing high roll stiffness, wihch reducs the probability of rollover situations.
Technical support is currently being supplied by the manufacturer, as the prototypes undergo trial periods.Interview with designer
Unknown since the product is being prototyped.
All products aim to hit the targets listed below.
The product has proved its performance through multiple testings in the field, both in the US and in Cameroon.Interview with designer
This product has been tested in the U.S. through student design competitions hosted by the Institute for Affordable Transportation, where vehicles make laps carrying a load of 1200 lbs through mud, hills, and fields. One prototype was loaned to a Purdue University research farm where it was used daily during the fall with zero noted problems. Another vehicle was driven over 60 miles with different loadings to determine fuel mileage.Interview with designer
Main hazards involve possible actions of the driver during product operation.
Hitches, water pumps, maize grinders, generators, threshers, plows can be added, along with several tools traditionally attached to tractors and farming utility vehiclesInterview with designer
Maximum power that an engine can output (kilowatts, horsepower, etc]
The fuel efficiency relationship between the distance traveled and the amount of fuel consumed by the vehicle
Type of fuel engine uses [Gasoline, Diesel, etc]
Carrying capacity of vehicle [kilograms]
Maximum speed a vehicle can reach [miles per hour, kilometers per hour, meters per second, etc]
Academic research has not been cited for this product, though this design is the result of research teams at Purdue University .
The product has met standards set by the manufacturer. These standards have not been publicly released. Interview with designer
Through field testing in Africa, and participation in competitions through the Institute for Affordable Transportation, their vehicle made laps carrying a load of 1200 lbs through mud, hills, and fields. Interview with designer
The MAPS Agrover “elevator” pitch is available here.
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