Researchers at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa are developing a robot that could tackle time-intensive farm tasks all on its own.
Using radio frequency identification, the IdaBOT would move through a vineyard and orchard on its own and target specific trees or vines to precisely complete those tasks.
“Our goal is to try and reduce the costs for the orchard owners or the vineyard owners by building something that can take the pressure off some of their workers,” said Josh Griffin, an assistant professor of engineering at NNU.
Griffin and fellow engineering professor Duke Bulanon received more than $80,000 from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Grant Program to make the project happen. They plan to use the funding to hire two students and develop the IdaBOT over the next two years.