Kinze Manufacturing is working hard to perfect the autonomous tractors of the future. The intent is to allow farmers to give repetitive tasks to guided machines.
(Kinze Autonomy Project: Planting System)
The video below gives a preview of a new product called the Kinze Autonomy Project, a new set of tractor and grain cart unveiled [last] summer that drive themselves to harvest crops and that can make "intelligent operational decisions in real time based on field conditions."
Designed to reduce the need for skilled labor operating the machinery, the system would mean that farmers could do other higher-level planning work and operate the tractor all night long by itself. Presumably the whole thing is networked, collects data and will make some analytics available.
Science fiction fans down on the farm of course recall the robomule that pulled the plough in Harry Harrison's 1965 novel Bill the Galactic Hero and the networked darknet farm from Daniel Suarez' 2010 novel Freedom.
Not to fan the embers of the Cold War, but readers may wish to consider the autonomic plow from Philip K. Dick's 1964 novel Clans of the Alphane Moon. You've heard of beating swords in plowshares? Dick contemplates the opposite.
Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.' - HG Winters, 1939.