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Students from University of Regina entered in agBOT competition

Event is being held in Rockville, Indiana

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farms.com

A trio of students from the University of Regina will represent their school – and Canada, in the agBOT Challenge scheduled for May 7 in Rockville, Indiana.

Sam Dietrich, Joshua Friedrick and Caleb Friedrick are hoping to drive a tractor from a laptop; while pulling a seeder, the tractor will plant corn in a field about a half-mile in size.

agBOT

Using keystrokes and other commands, the Canadian team can determine a seeding area, speed and seed rate.

“It’ll do all the planting, everything all by itself and be able to send feedback back to the user, so the user can see where the seeds were planted and different stats from the tractor,” Joshua told the Regina Leader-Post.

They will use a tractor that’s slightly larger than a riding lawnmower to keep the project as cost-effective as possible, but say the technology can be adapted for larger machines including grain carts and cultivators.

Joshua said agriculture is an industry where automation is still a newer concept and new technology could provide endless opportunities.

“I think farmers are all for things that increase their yield and decrease their time, so I think any farmer would be interested in anything that’s going to help them plant better and have more crop,” he said.

The agBOT Challenge

Teams from the United States and Canada must produce unmanned, robotic equipment that can perform a variety of activities including:

  • Provide real time data and video
  • Plant a total of 12 rows, each a half-mile long; add fertilizer to the rows 2” over and 0” down from seed
  • Observe, report, intervene and control down pressure, seed rate and speed
  • Provide analytics of speed and direction, down pressure and press wheel pressure

The 2017 agBOT Challenge will be a competition for pest and weed identification and eradication; the 2018 competition will focus on harvest method robotics.


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