Context: I am a hobbyist and I don't have experience with industrial solutions

I am starting to prototype a farming equipment gps guiding system and I was looking fore some feedback regarding my approach. I was looking into using a ublox-zed-f9p connected to a processing board that is going to spin up some servo motors that should be driving the wheels. Also to note that the wheel equipped machine would have somewhere close to 8t max.

The main questions that I have regarding this project:

Is the ublox-zed-f9p good as an industrial solution ?

What processing boards would you recommend ? (I am used to raspberries and ESPs)

What makes a component to classify as industrial ?

Thank you in advance, I am new here, so if I did something wrong, please point it out :)

  • $\begingroup$ I am not looking to implement this on a tractor $\endgroup$
    – FlatSpeed
    Jun 22, 2022 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, combine harvester then. You state "farming" and this type of implementation exists with additional features such as patterns of field coverage and spacing designed to match machine ground coverage. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 22, 2022 at 6:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Unless the equipment you are putting it on is ancient it's going to have an accurate GPS already $\endgroup$ Jun 22, 2022 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


An 8 ton hobby machine? That's quite a hobby! To answer your questions:

  1. ublox-zed-f9p is probably fine for production, but it's a terrible choice for prototyping because it's got pad, not wire, connections. It will be very challenging for you to solder to that. You can only really install it on a PCB. Many parts come in prototyping (wire) and production (bond pad) variants. Find one of those so you can start with something easy to prototype and then scale up to custom PCBs.

  2. Really depends what you're doing. If you're trying to do AI controls/image recognition/something else computationally expensive you need a chipset that is designed for that. If you want to have an LCD control panel you probably want to run something like Linux or Windows on the chip so you can use a GUI framework to design the UI. Raspberry PI could be enough to prototype with, but you will want something weatherized when you put it on a piece of equipment that actually has to go in the field. If you're going the AI/automation route, I would look at chips designed for self driving cars.

  3. There's no hard line between industrial equipment and other equipment, but some features that industrial users might care about include:

  • Weatherized package that meets certain specifications ensuring it is safe to use outdoors or in a factory where surfaces get washed regularly
  • Reliable supply chain able to handle user's demand for the equipment
  • Ability of the supplier to provide technical support to project engineers
  • Easy integration in automated manufacturing processes (e.g. chipset with pads)
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, I am switching from hobby to actual work. Thanks a lot for the answer! $\endgroup$
    – FlatSpeed
    Jun 22, 2022 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Got it! If you're switching from hobby farming to pro farming, I would definitely recommend looking at existing platforms such as: $\endgroup$
    – Emily Conn
    Jun 22, 2022 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ Open Ecology (opensourceecology.org/gvcs/gvcs-machine-index) or John Deere/other major equipment providers (although there are huge licensing/intellectual property problems here). Building farm equipment that will last in the field is incredibly challenging. If you're working on commercializing ag tech it sounds like you probably need to consult with an expert in mechanical engineering. $\endgroup$
    – Emily Conn
    Jun 22, 2022 at 17:32

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