Driverless robotic machines entered the fields of Gerrish Farms in Rockville, IN in June 2017. Universities and entrepreneurial teams showcased the newest technology in agriculture, demonstrating machines capable of autonomously moving through the fields to plant seeds, identify plant health with detection and eradication of weeds. Gerrish Farms and airBridge, along with Platinum Sponsors The Climate Corporation and Yamaha Motors welcomed the teams for competitions.
Muchowski Farms, CalPoly, Virginia Tech, Colorado Mesa University Team Grit, Ohio State, Lairdscape and PeeDee Precision Ag presented innovative solutions in the Seeding Competition on June 24. After a full day of in field demonstrations and presentations, Team Lairdscape was awarded $25,000 and the title of agBOT Challenge 2017 Seeding Competition Champion. CalPoly was awarded Second Place and $15,000. Third Place and $10,000 was awarded to Muchowski Farms.
On the following day, June 25th, Purdue, North Star Robotics, IUPUI, University of Regina, Muchowski Farms, Team Gizmoze, Colorado Mesa University Team Grit, PeeDee Precision Ag and Prairie Robotics provided the crowd with demonstrations and presentations of innovative solutions in the Weed & Feed Competition. Prairie Robotics took home the title of agBOT Challenge 2017 Weed & Feed Competition Champion along with $25,000. Awarded Second Place and $15,000 was Purdue University. Third Place and $10,000 was awarded to Team Gizmoze.
George Kellerman, Chief Operations Officer for Yamaha Motor Ventures; Craig Rupp, Director of Engineering, The Climate Corporation; Bob Peterson, Chief Executive Officer, Broadband Antenna Tracking Systems (BATS); Bill Thompson, Progressive Indiana Farmer; and Kip Tom, CEO and Owner, Tom Farms; and Lee Reddin, CTO of Blue River Technology provided their time and expertise as judges for both competitions.