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Environment & Agriculture

by   -   September 14, 2016

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PrecisionAg’s editor Eric Sfiligoj has prepared a list of the top 10 technologies that are shaping precision ag today. Most involve some level of robotics, navigation, sensors and variable rate dispensing.

by   -   September 6, 2016
Case IH autonomous concept vehicle. Source: cnhindustrial
Case IH autonomous concept vehicle. Source: cnhindustrial

Case IH (Case New Holland International Harvester) displayed their new cab-less tractor at a farming show in Iowa. The presentation was to show off what they hope will be the future: an autonomous tractor without a steering wheel, pedals or a cab for the driver.

Source: Wyss Institute
Source: Wyss Institute

Originally pioneered at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab, in collaboration with Northeastern University, RoboBees are inspired by nature and designed for an important reason: wild pollinators — such as bees and butterflies — are declining at an alarming rate. 75 per cent of the world’s food crops depend at least in part on pollination, putting global food supplies at risk, according to the World Economic Forum.

A variety of robots and tools are being created to solve one specific piece of the environmental climate change crisis. Together, the engineers who develop them and the bots doing the work will be able to make a difference and lessen the impact of human activity destroying the planet.

Ladybird

In this episode, Ron Vanderkley interviews James Underwood from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. Underwood discusses his work on an autonomous vegetable harvesting robot, Ladybird.

With warmer winters and drier summers, climate change might even be having an effect on your favourite bottle of wine.

Source: Deepfield Robotics
Source: Deepfield Robotics

Farmers are increasingly under pressure to feed more people. The UN predicts that the world population will rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050. This growing population has become pickier about the food they eat. In the EU alone, the organic market grew by 7.4% in 2014 with sales valued at €24 billion. Beyond organic food, there is an overall push to make farming greener by using less water and pesticides.

by   -   April 27, 2016

CampFromAboveYou are faced with a few thousand hectares of rainforest that you know harbours one or more orangutans that you need to track down. Where, how, and why do you start looking?

New Zealand country map polygonal with spot lights placesNew Zealand’s government innovation agency Callaghan Innovations and Silicon Valley’s innovation non-profit SVForum organized Transforming AgTech, an event bringing together New Zealand and US agricultural startups in typical Silicon Valley style.

Silicon Valley Robotics Rich Mahoney and Andra Keay led a panel on robotics and agriculture. Here, they highlight NZ startups and innovation groups present at the event.

New Zealand’s government innovation agency Callaghan Innovations and Silicon Valley’s innovation non-profit SVForum organized: “Transforming Ag Tech,” an event bringing together New Zealand and US agricultural startups in typical Silicon Valley style.

Source: Clearpath Robotics
Source: Clearpath Robotics

By: Chris Bogdon
Amir Degani is an assistant professor at Technion Institute of Technology and Avi Kahnani is the CEO and Co-Founder of Israeli robotics start-up Fresh Fruits Robotics. Together, they are developing an apple harvesting robot that can autonomously navigate apple orchards and accurately pick fruit from the trees. I got the chance to sit down with Amir and Avi to learn more about the project. In our talk, they discussed the robot’s design, the challenges of apple picking, tree training and their experience demoing the robot for Microsoft’s CEO at the Think Next 2016 exhibition.

by   -   December 28, 2015

Waypoint_drones_winemaking_Agriculture_aerial_surveying_William_Metz_SenseflyIn 2014, viticulturist William Metz was granted a fellowship by the Villa d’Este Wine Symposium to spend a full year evaluating the potential applications of drones in wine making — a project that saw him fly his senseFly-donated eBee drone at 15 vineyards across France, Switzerland and Germany. In this video William discusses his unique research project and the value he believes drones can bring to the wine making process.

by   -   December 21, 2015

Yamaha_crop_Sprayer_Drone_RMAX

The FAA granted Yamaha Motor Corporation an Agricultural Aircraft Operations certificate for their RMAX crop spraying remotely piloted helicopters.

by   -   December 18, 2015

keyboard_christmas_present_holiday_gift

Jibo got $16 million from Asian VCs to enable Jibo to speak and sell in Japan and China, while Blue River Technology got $17 million from a group of agricultural VCs to expand product development to new areas, as funding for robotic ventures continues to soar. UPDATED To include funding for Soft Robotics, Inc. Flyability, and Naïo Technologies.

by   -   October 29, 2015
Source: Jeff Kubina via Wikimedia Commons
Source: Jeff Kubina via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s an interesting robotics challenge – a coalition of blueberry farmers are offering a $250,000 prize for automation solutions that improve blueberry picking. The deadline for entries in the competition has been extended to December 4, 2015. Apparently farmers can’t keep up with the record high demand for blueberries.

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