Part of the Agrytech Program, Beytech FabLab and National Instruments organized the Agri-Food Tech Challenge where 44 participants took hardware and software trainings to innovate solutions in the agri-food sector.
The participants went through 2 weeks or the equivalent of 35 hours of intensive trainings on National Instruments software and hardware. Week one focused on LabVIEW, a systems engineering software for applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights.
In week two, participants were trained on how to use National Instruments hardware myRIO, a revolutionary hardware/software platform that gives students the ability to design real systems more quickly than ever before.
The 23 remaining participants were then matched based on complimentary skills to form 7 teams.
The Agrytech team introduced the participants to the various problems and challenges in food and agriculture that demand technology-based solutions. Participants brainstormed solutions to come up with a functional one before diving into the prototyping phase. Seven teams are finalizing their prototypes before jury day. The competing projects included:
- Lettuce & Cabbage Collector
- Fruit Collector
- Greenhouse powered by solar cells
- Smart Pesticide System
- Pig Repellent
- Apple Sorting Machine
- Olive Sorter for better olive oil
The teams had access to the Berytech FabLab were they worked to produce their prototypes. The lab offered hardware and electronics facilites for them to bring their vision to life. Large scale ideas were created in miniature prototypes in order to prove the concept.
Participants presented their prototype in front of a jury panel on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Berytech Innovation Park in Mar Roukoz.
First prize went to ‘Quadrapple’ an optical sorting machine that accurately sorts all types of apples at a relatively low cost. They received a cash prize of $3,000, free one-year membership at the Berytech Fab Lab, 50% discount on all activities and workshops at the Berytech Fab Lab, and and an automatic selection to join the Agrytech Boootcamp phase of the program, including another $3,300 in grants and support over 2 months.
Second prize went to ‘The Smart Wild Pig Repellent” a smart monitoring system relying on sound and image to detect pigs and scare them off the land. They received a cash prize of $1,000, free one-year membership at the Berytech Fab Lab and 50% discount on all activities and workshops at the Berytech Fab Lab.
Third prize went to the “LCC Machine” that automatizes the harvest of lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower. They win a free 6-months membership at the Berytech Fab Lab and
50% discount on all activities and workshops at the Berytech Fab Lab.
Agrytech is a program jointly funded by Berytech and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon.