Team took home $50,000 cash prize
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A team of engineers from the University of Regina won the 2016 agBOT Challenge, held in Rockville, Indiana on May 7.
The only Canadian university team in the competition, Samuel Dietrich, Joshua Friedrick and Caleb Friedrick were tasked with developing an unmanned crop seeder capable of planting half-mile-long rows and transferring data back to the user.
The tractor is controlled remotely by a farmer through software they also designed.
“It resembles a basic tractor with a seeding implement behind it,” Dietrich told CBC. “Basically a tractor driving by itself, there’s nothing to tell it apart from (another tractor).”
The project was part of their final year Capstone engineering project, but living in Saskatchewan made agriculture an easy outlet for their work.
“Growing up in Saskatchewan, agriculture is huge here,” Dietrich said. “This project has pretty big implications and could be huge.”
Dietrich is confident the software can help farmers increase yields and reduce the amount of time spent in the fields.
Nathan Muchowski, an engineering alum from the University of Regina, representing Muchowski Farms and PeeDee Precision Ag placed third.
The team from Purdue/South Newton placed second to round out the top three.