AgrAbility webinar to focus on ag equipment vision aids

July 9, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Operators of agricultural equipment who have difficulty seeing directly behind them because of visual impairments or mobility limitations will learn about technology that can help them by participating in an AgrAbility webinar. 

"Increasing Visual Accessibility on Agricultural Machinery" will be given July 23 at 2 p.m. EDT. 

The free webinar will explore technology associated with assistive viewing on self-propelled agricultural equipment, its applications and limitations, and the potential use of rear-view cameras for enhancing operator performance and safety in completing equipment-related tasks.

Special consideration will be given to enhancing the vision capacity of operators with disabling conditions that may contribute to line-of-sight problems. Also discussed will be applications of these technologies for monitoring other agricultural tasks, such as grain handling operations, where risk of getting trapped in a confined space can be reduced when operators have the ability to see the interior of grain bins without entering them.

"Operators of agricultural equipment can have difficulty viewing directly behind the machine, where most mirrors are ineffective," said Shawn Ehlers, webinar presenter and doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. "This is especially true for operators with visual impairments and those with range-of-motion limitations who have difficulty turning their bodies. The lack of visual lines of sight is especially problematic on larger self-propelled equipment where the operator station is enclosed or isolated from the equipment."

Ehlers, of southeastern Indiana where he is the sixth generation of his family's grain farming operation, has worked as a mid-range mechanical development intern engineer at Cummins Engines in Columbus, Indiana; an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette; and a teaching and research assistant at Purdue. His current research focuses on agricultural safety and the implementation of assistive viewing technology.

Registration, with a deadline of July 21, is available online at Instructions for accessing the session will be sent to registrants by July 22.

For more information, contact AgrAbility at 800-825-4264 or by email at

AgrAbility is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and consists of a national project, led by the Breaking New Ground Resource Center at Purdue, and state/regional projects serving 22 states.           

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722,  

Source: Paul Jones, 765-494-1221, 

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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