Rockville-based airBridge LLC and Gerrish Farms say teams are lining up for next year’s agBOT Challenge. The event, which will take place in June, features teams working to develop machines with the capability of autonomously planting, weeding and feeding a small parcel of land.
The inaugural event took place in May 2016 and next year’s agBOT Challenge will feature two competitions. The first is the Seeding Challenge which will feature teams developing unmanned robotic systems that can autonomously plant two or four 1000-foot rows of corn at a time and autonomously turn at each end.
The second competition is the Weed & Feed Challenge. Teams will develop similar unmanned robotic systems that can autonomously move through the 1000-foot rows of crops and identify and eradicate specific weeds either chemically or mechanically, as well as fertilize the plants as needed.
Currently, seven teams have been announced for the Seeding Challenge and 11 teams have been named for the Weed & Seed Challenge, including the University of Regina, which took home the top prize in the 2016 event. Representatives from Purdue University, Purdue Polytechnic Institute, IUPUI and South Newton High School in Kentland, Indiana are also participating.
Participants will be competing for a first place cash prize of $30,000. Second place will receive $15,000 and third place will be awarded $10,000. You can learn more about the agBOT Challenge by clicking here.