For the past eight years, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has held an annual robotics design competition to encourage students to develop ideas for robots that could solve real-life agricultural problems. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate teams, and allows multiple teams to enter from one university. Each year the competition is held at ASABE’s annual international conference. This year, the competition will take place July 13-16 in Montreal, Canada.
Coincidentally, a rather Canadian challenge was chosen for this year: designing a robotic system that can install a sap pipeline between maple trees in a forest. Such a method would be more cost-effective and less wasteful than current methods that require collecting the sap by hand. Registration for this year’s contest is open until June 15, 2014.