Representing a diverse range of colleges and universities across California and the nation, our Farm Robotics Challenge teams have come together to create innovative robotic solutions aimed at enhancing efficiency and sustainability on small to midsized farms. Each team in the Farm Robotics Challenge boasts a unique blend of backgrounds, with students specializing in engineering, computer science, agriculture, and environmental science. This multidisciplinary approach is crucial to driving innovation in the ag tech sector and tackling the complex challenges that farmers face daily.
The Carnegie Mellon TartanPest Team is developing an autonomous robot to control the spread of Spotted Lanternflies, an invasive insect species, by navigating farms to find and remove their egg masses, providing potential economic and social benefits to small farmers and the broader food system.
Cal Poly’s Team focused on Autonomous Pasture Weeding is developing an autonomous weeding robot that navigates pastures, identifies weeds using computer vision, and removes them with an electric mower. The robot does this while addressing environmental challenges and incorporating safety features such as emergency stop buttons and protective cages.
Cal Poly’s Team focused on Autonomous Lettuce Weeding is developing a weeding robot that autonomously navigates lettuce fields, identifies weeds using computer vision, and removes them with high-concentration fertilizer. The robot does this while addressing challenges like vegetation density and lettuce phenotype variation, and ensuring safety for human workers and avoiding damage to crops.
This project proposes the development of smart agricultural robot called the SARDOG (Smart Agricultural Robot bullDOG) that can perform tasks like GPS-less navigation, precision spraying of pesticides, harvesting of fruits and vegetables, measuring soil conditions, detecting crop types, tracking crop growth, detecting humans, and conserving energy through solar power generation.
The UC Merced Bobcat Team is developing an automatic weed detection and removal robot for orchards. This robot will detect weed locations from camera streams and apply herbicides to the weeds using a low-cost mechanical system, with potential economic and social impacts for individual farms and the broader food system.
The Purdue Dig Doug Team is developing a robotic buried sensor deployment system as an add-on accessory for the Farm-ng Amiga autonomous farming robot, which will autonomously deploy soil-monitoring sensors across multi-acre farms, allowing farmers to identify and address subterranean concerns.
Purdue’s PruneScape Team is developing PruneScape, a robotic arm attachment for the AMIGA robot that prunes grapevines in small vineyards, benefiting small vineyard owners and ultimately decreasing the price of grapes and their resulting products for increased availability and accessibility.
Purdue’s NutrientMEP Team is creating a cost-effective, efficient, and reusable method of attaching IoT chaff sensors to row crop leaves for data transfer, with the goal of improving crop production and preventing food shortages by using a robot to store, position, and attach sensors to leaves.
UC Davis’s Team Robo-ag is developing an autonomous robot for precise and targeted pesticide application on a 10-acre farm producing garbanzo beans, in order to reduce chemical waste, save on labor costs, and minimize the negative impact of pesticides on the environment and human health.
Team Klaatu is designing Gort, a robot capable of identifying, locating, and navigating sensors for data extraction and battery charging. This robot is utilizing computer vision, sensor communication, and power control while addressing challenges like accuracy and ensuring safety through motion sensing and eye-safe lasers for power delivery.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Huskersbot Team is developing a robot that can navigate between rows of crops, detect and differentiate between weeds and crops using machine learning, and perform spot-spraying of herbicides on the detected weeds, with the potential to reduce herbicide use and increase productivity.