Visual Communication System
Communication System (VCS) addresses communication needs specific to
agricultural vehicle while harvesting tuber crops. This innovation has been in development
at the University of Idaho by undergraduate students for the past
two years and is sponsored by the National Collegiate Inventors &
Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).
team is picking up where last year’s team left off. The basis of our goals is to produce a
design which is ready for mass production after completing at least one
more prototype. We currently hold a
provisional patent on the PCS idea and are still working on receiving the official
patent (through the Idaho
Research Foundation, Inc.).
Anytime there is
simultaneous harvesting and loading, the trucks are required to make
position changes, relative to the combine, in order to fill uniformly. Truck
drivers and combine operators rely on hand signals in order to communicate
specific actions relating to the proper loading of the crop.
The problems that occur during this operation are:
truck drivers can’t see what’s going on with the loading
of the crop.
harvester driver is performing many operations.
storms and darkness prohibit any direct operator-to-operator
conditions frustrate visual hand signal communication between the two
moving vehicles. This incurs difficult and unsafe harvesting conditions.
The VCS is a product
that will improve the convenience and safety of harvesting tuber crops by
replacing hand signals and CB radios with one complete visual communication
This Year’s Team
from left to right
Matt Hess, Ian Toevs, Veronica Meyer, Chris
Jenson, Seth Elkington, Matt Shewmaker