With the world’s growing population and limited natural resources, there is a constant need for farming practices be more efficient, and conservative with the amount of resources like water, land, and energy. Although technological advancements have helped many farmers better manage the conditions of their crops, most of the farming tasks still require human operators or are labour intensive. The agBOT Challenge hosted at the Purdue University in Indiana hopes to stimulate automation technologies in farming by challenging teams to build a fully autonomous robot capable of doing various farm work. The idea is to apply automation in farming to relieve the stress on human labour, and reduce the amount of chemicals used, like fertilizers and pesticides, with more targeted applications on the crops. The UBC AgroBot Team is taking on this exciting opportunity to explore the possibility of applying advanced robotics, machine learning, image recognition, artificial intelligence and much more to help farmers produce more and better crops. The team will be conquering the challenge of building a robot from scratch and competing in the upcoming agBOT Challenge.
agBOT @ Purdue University
This project will be competing in the agBot challenge at the Purdue University, Indiana. This competition attracts teams from companies and universities across North America. There are two main competitions teams can participate in, each with a different challenging goal. One of the competitions requires the robot to autonomously apply fertilizers by determining if the crop needs nutrient, as well as recognize and eliminate three specific kinds of weeds. The other, challenges teams to create an autonomous machine capable of collecting a targeted soil sample, prepping and storing the sample for microscopic evaluation. These competitions will be judged by reputable members of the agricultural technology industry, such as The Climate Corporation (Monsanto), and Blue River Technology.
We are always on the lookout for individuals passionate about technological innovation. Specifically, we are seeking members experienced in mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. You are also encouraged to apply even if you are not in the disciplines mentioned above if you can demonstrate your passion and ability to learn. This project will likely take two years to complete due to its complexity and the fact that everything will be built from scratch. There will be so much learning and experience you can gain from this project, so we are looking for someone who is committed to taking on the challenge.