news    views    talk    learn    |    about    contribute     republish     crowdfunding     archives     events

Search Results for: agriculture


blueriver-1

If you were to design the worst possible environment for software engineering, the cramped jump seat of a John Deere tractor would be a contender. The sound and vibration of the engine makes conversation and concentration difficult. If the sun isn’t making it impossible to see the monitor, the blowing dust is.

by   -   December 18, 2013

Let me admit up front that I’m not the best person to be covering a robotics competition. In fact this is only the second one I’ve attended; the first, Sparkfun’s AVC, is a tough act to follow and set my expectations pretty high. On the other hand, the theme of this year’s International Robot Olympiad is Robots in Agriculture, which is right in line with my own interests, so maybe it’s a wash in this instance.

by   -   November 4, 2013

robot_garden_Demo

University of Colorado’s robotic plant growth is demonstrated at the Kennedy Space Center. Source: NASA.

Targeting a sustainable presence of humans in outer space will require solving air, water, energy, and food supplies within a few thousand cubic feet surrounded by vacuum. What seems at first sight to be a problem of an apocalyptic, remote future reveals itself as the grand challenges of our civilization in a nutshell. This article argues that space exploration can be one of the main drivers to revolutionize sustainable agriculture on earth.

by   -   October 25, 2013

Yamaha_RMAX2

Yamaha is testing spraying vineyards in Napa Valley through a COA with the FAA. Photo courtesy Yamaha Corp.

With the global market for unmanned systems in agriculture on the rise, companies that make robotic ground and air systems are paying close attention.

More than 25,000 “field” or agriculture robots will be sold by 2015 — about the same as robots for military use, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Together, defense and agriculture make up the lion’s share of the nearly 94,000 “service robots for professional use” that the IFR believes will be sold in the next couple of years. Defense and agriculture are by far the two largest categories in IFR calculations, with robots for things like logistics, medicine and rescue coming in well behind.

by   -   October 25, 2013

The mechanical arm

No, this is not about shapeshifting robots, come to save or destroy Earth. It is about transforming the contexts within which robotic technologies are applied, and about practicing robotics with the intention of bringing about transformational results. In some cases this means finding better ways of accomplishing the same ends as before. In other cases it means pursuing ends that were previously unachievable. It hinges on the recognition that robotics is a revolutionary development, on the order of fire or writing, with the potential to transform everything it touches.

by   -   October 24, 2013

infrared

‘Drones in agriculture’ has been a topic hot lately, but is it a real business?

As a former Army UAV platoon leader and a current founder of an aerial data collection start-up, I believe so, but when I first got back from Afghanistan, I did not see how drones could be a big thing in agriculture. WHY? I still do not see how the “pilotless app” makes a decisive difference in most civilian applications.  Yet as I expanded my view of a drone to be any flying network node — be it piloted or unpiloted, in the air or in space — I started to see how drone technology could deliver data that creates real value.