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Farming simulation

CAN goes video game

Lely’s CAN-based milking robot and Isobus-featured grassland machines were added to the Farming Simulator 17 video game.

Screenshot of the Farming Simulator 17 game (Photo: Lely)

In version 17 of Farming Simulator, the farm simulation game, users can now run their farm with various Isobus- and CAN-based Lely machines. Four machines for working the land and the Lely Astronaut milking robot for the barn have been added to the latest version of this popular game. Lely is thus following in the footsteps of some 40 brands whose agricultural machinery is already used in the game. The milking robot is a first. The added six red machines now allow crops to be cut, raked, and collected with Lely grassland machinery. In addition, the milking robot can be used to help out in the barn.

In real-life the CAN-featuring Astronaut milking robot costs about US-$ 250 000 including a mechanical arm and teat-cleaning equipment. The CAN network of the milking robot supplies the electrical power to the MQC-C (Milk Quality Control – Cell count measuring system). According to Peter Meyer, Product Manager Dairy at Lely, they use CAN-connectable devices with a CANopen protocol, the internationally standardized (EN 50325-4) CAN-based higher-layer protocol for embedded control system. The CANopen devices of the robot are supplied with 24 VDC. The CAN network works via a two-wire connection (CAN_H and CAN_L).

Farming Simulator, where players simulate running farms, is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game has several levels, beginning with the most basic machines. By running a farm well, for example by sowing, looking after, harvesting, and selling crops, players can earn money, which can then be invested in new, bigger machinery. It is also possible to run a livestock farm, where cows have to be bought, fed and milked, the barn mucked out, and milk automatically collected when the milk tank is full. The previous version of Farming Simulator was sold more than two million times.

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