The Field of Artificial Intelligence Growing in Agriculture
Washington State University (WSU) scientist Manoj Karkee was recently named a 2019 Pioneer for his work in artificial intelligence and internet of things by Connected World magazine. Among his projects, Karkee is building apple-picking robots, smart irrigation systems for grapes and fruit trees, flying drones to deter birds from fruit crops, and machines to bundle red raspberries. Just as important as building machines, he develops artificial intelligence for field agriculture, creating the software that tells agricultural robots how to do their work.
He was one of 11 scientists in the U.S. and Canada to receive the recognition from the online journal. This year’s Pioneer awards noted prominent educators who advance and study digital transformations, machine intelligence, and the web of connected machines that increasingly powers our society.
“Robots and software, sensors, and wireless communication are changing the way we grow our food, and offer exciting new ways to solve challenges in sustainability and production,” Karkee says. “It’s been my privilege to study this fast-changing field for more than 20 years, and the potential is greater now than ever.”
Based at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, WA, Karkee and his team of students, scientists, and technicians solve challenges in agriculture using robotics, automation, and smart technology.
Most recently, Karkee was named a co-director of the newly announced Joint Center for Agricultural Robotics, a partnership between WSU and Australia’s University of Technology Sydney.