Product Idea |

Powered Large Sized Combine Harvester


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Presenting the largest combine harvester. What you see is combine harvester whose scale is based on two factors: 1) the largest tire available (of an off-highway design), and 2) the option to fit a larger sized figure (ideally the older Technic, or the current Friends). An additional design consideration is that I wanted to be able to incorporate motors and control. There are actual 5 motor-driven functions built-in: Driving forward/reverse, Steering, Unload Tube Swing in/out, Header/Feeder raise/lower, and independent reel drive (i.e. reel spins while sitting still).

Build-wise, no attention to detail has been spared. The cab is fully outfitted with mirror stalks and beacon lights; right-hand console with switch panel, computerized display, command handle; overhead console with switch panel and radio, and a buddy/trainer seat. Outside the cab is a movable ladder with safety chains, and platforms with safety rails. On top is the grain bin with closable covers (for when driving under low bridges), with a GPS antenna. The top rear features the detailed engine deck, which is easily removable to access the built-in controller underneath. Details on the engine desk include a V6 diesel engine with clear heads to show the pistons inside, various fluid fills, air cleaner, and exhaust. Also shown in the pictures is the Mindstorms EV3 IR sensor for wireless control. On the rear are marker lights, a 'vertical' style straw spreader that tilts up for access to the tow ball underneath it.

The header itself is detachable and is latched in place with a mechanism similar to the full-sized prototype. There is a row of cutterbar teeth at the front leading to the crop deck. The reel is motorized with a separate battery box to make it easier to disconnect from the combine. The reel also is on linear actuators that extend in unison, via knob on side, to raise or the reel as needed to clear crop. Not shown are a set of wheels and a hitch that can be attached to the combine on the rear tow ball so that the combine can tow the header.

This project is the culmination of several years of trial and error until I finally settled on this design several years ago, and am now posting here. As originally designed, this combine incorporates the Mindstorms EV3 brick, motors and sensors. As the EV3 has been retired, the design is still internally open enough to use current programmable Hubs, including the Large Hub, or even the Technic Hub, and their associated motors and accessories. One side note, there is a third-party, Lego-approved rotary position sensor on the header that is compatible with the NXT and EV3 versions of Mindstorms, but no current equivalent. This was incorporated with additional programming so that the header can sense obstacles and raise/lower autonomously. For demonstrations there is a terrain bump that combine drives over that it lifts and lowers the header over.

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