On this episode of AgLab we start out talking about some innovation in AgTech with the autonomous drone spraying company called Pyka. They have created a completely self piloting drone that could change how farmers apply chemicals to their fields. Their drones pair sophisticated flying systems and hardware to innovate chemical applications. They have sophisticated tracking systems that allow the drones to precisely apply even without a pilot, potentially paving the way to a new system that takes the time and effort out of regular spraying.
We also presented the comments from several industry experts who are trying to understand the needs and challenges of a new generation of farmers faced with an always growing population. These questions will be continually explored as technology continues to help agriculture develop.
We learned about Rise Hydroponic gardens and their goal to make growing your own food indoors easier and more visually interesting. They have a selection of stand alone growing modules of varying sizes depending on how much indoor gardening the customer would like. Nearly everything within the system is modular all the way down to prepackaged seed pods that can literally be plugged right into the system after they are purchased. With the increase of people growing gardens during the pandemic we will likely continue to see more companies looking to elevate individual growing solutions.
Finally, for our Ancient Innovator this week, we learn more about someone that everyone studied in school. Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, had a huge impact on agriculture across the United States, but the process to that innovation was arduous. The cotton gin is considered one of the main inventions that further cemented slavery in the cotton industry, but at the same time was one of the main drivers of the industrial revolution. Although the impact of this one invention is exceedingly evident, Whitney’s story ends up being a cautionary tale about the process of patents.