How RAM® Helps Enable Innovative Precision Agriculture ResearchBy Bryden McGrath
June 19, 2017
Here at RAM Mounts, we’re proud to work with several different partners in the agriculture industry – John Deere, AGCO and CNH, just to name a few. But that also includes being on the cutting edge of innovative precision agriculture research with potential worldwide impacts.
Let us explain.
Feeding the World’s Population
As the world population grows, with an estimated 9.6 billion people by the year 2050, one thing is for sure: everyone needs to eat.
That means both the consumer and the marketplace are demanding more out of farmers than ever before. And according to George Kantor, a senior systems scientist in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), yields aren’t increasing fast enough to feed that many people:
Growing More with Less
What’s the solution? Controlling, measuring and analyzing crops using technology like robots and machine learning to grow more food with less water and less land.
One team is led by Stephen Nuske, a post-doc researcher and systems scientist also in the Robotics Institute at CMU. Nuske’s team measures grape yields down to the vine by attaching special cameras to UTVs and driving them up and down vineyards. Using off-the-shelf imaging software and active lighting (think strobe lights), the goal is to measure the yields so farmers can better identify what grows best – and where.
RAM Mounts play a critical role in securing the heavy cameras to the UTVs and reducing vibration.
“The arm [is] used to position a new stereo imager with active lighting, which you can see in the […] photo,” said Timothy Mueller-Sim, a graduate student at CMU. “RAM’s ball and socket mounts allow us to rapidly position and re-position our imaging sensors to get the best angle for the best images, all without extra tools, which is especially useful on a hot and dusty farm.”
The project, funded by the USDA and NGWI, has Carnegie Mellon researchers and plant geneticists at Clemson University finding solutions to fight world hunger. RAM is excited to be a small part of enabling researchers and technology to solve a truly global issue.
- TerraScan (the team is looking to commercialize the robot and imager as shown in the featured photo)
- Efficient Vineyard
Learn about RAM mounting solutions for the agriculture industry.