AGCO Supports Next Generation of Student Robotic Designers

Developing high-tech solutions by bringing together agricultural science, robotics and engineering. STEM education is key to ensuring a skilled workforce of tomorrow.

August 31, 2018 by AGCO

AGCO Supports Next Generation of Student Robotic Designers

Developing high-tech solutions by bringing together agricultural science, robotics and engineering. STEM education is key to ensuring a skilled workforce of tomorrow.

As part of AGCO’s efforts to nurture STEM (short for science, technology, engineering and math) education and help shape the workforce of the future, AGCO sponsors student robotics teams at high school and universities from time to time. We are excited to report that two such teams recently won noteworthy national awards!

AGCO Supports Winning Robotics Teams

The Kell Robotics team, made up of high school students in Cobb and Cherokee Counties in Georgia, received the Chairman’s Award at the 2018 FIRST Robotics competition in Houston. This award recognizes Kell Robotics for its efforts to advance society through STEM education.

Kell Robotics team with their Chairman’s Award at the FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston

Kell Robotics team with their Chairman’s Award at the FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston

“We first met with Kell Robotics about two years ago, and I was very impressed with their support of other robotics teams in terms of materials and a workshop space,” said Ravi Godbole, Global Manager, Research & Advance Engineering, Duluth. “They are very involved in the robotics community and also working with the Georgia Governor’s Office, Girl Scouts, and others to promote a highly skilled and diverse workforce.”

From L: Dr. Charlie Li (advisor) and University of Georgia graduate students Yu Jiang, Shangpeng Sun and Rui Xu

From left to right: Dr. Charlie Li (advisor) and University of Georgia graduate students Yu Jiang, Shangpeng Sun and Rui Xu

Not to be outdone, the UGA engineering team won second place in the advanced division of the Robotics Student Design Competition held by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers recently.

The University of Georgia engineering graduate students designed a robot that deftly navigated a simulated apple-picking environment. Watch the video below to see how the robot picks the red ping-pong balls (representing ripe apples), discards blue ping-pong balls (representing diseased or rotten apples), and leaves the green ping-pong balls (representing unripe apples) alone.

“We came across this cool robot during a precision ag laboratory visit and decided to support it,” Godbole said.

ASABE Robotics Student Design Competition, Second Place, Advanced Division, UGA Engineers team

ASABE Robotics Student Design Competition, Second Place, Advanced Division, UGA Engineers team

Godbole mentions that AGCO has been working closely with the University of Georgia since 2012, both with the Tifton campus and at the main campus in Athens, Ga. The team sponsorship resulted from a chance encounter. “We came across this cool robot during a precision ag laboratory visit and decided to support it,” he said.

But supporting student robotics teams is about more than just winning competitions, he said.  “As a company we are developing high-tech product solutions that improve farmer’s profitability; and the key to that is bringing together agricultural science and engineering” Mr. Godbole said. “Having a STEM-trained workforce at every level is critical to our success.”

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