Updated: Jun 8, 2018
On Thursday June 7th 2018 I attended the IoT Showcase 2018 hosted by Hardware Pioneers at the Cocoon Networks offices, London. The events are always well attended and there are great refreshments provided which were very welcome after a sweaty June tube ride to Morgate at rush hour.
There were some great startup and well established companies to talk to. There was everything from great IoT prototyping and development kits on show, as well as new technologies in access control and personnel monitoring.
The highlight of the show because of my love of mobile robots was meeting the team at Earth Rover. I met Paul Harter the CTO, he showed me one of their robots they had with them explaining how he saw this technology being used in farming. He explained one of the most in demand tasks today is soft fruit picking as people are becoming harder to find who will do the work.
Paul explained his robots will mainly be working on tasks like crop monitoring, weed eradication and automated planning, where by sensing the condition of crops and producing accurate data it can be used to plan when to harvest a crop, and to assess the overall condition and potential yield, this could potentially be used to allow a farmer to coordinate commitments to the supermarket chains for delivery.
From my short interview it seems likely that these robots will work along side farming staff, carrying out tasks that will support the farm and ones that will allow farmers to get on with the running of the farm effectively as a business.
The robot they had with them was a powerful looking beast, with tractor style tyres and with 4 wheel steering and drive. I really liked the wheel assembly which had the motor and final gear reduction in each hub, this nicely eliminates the requirements of long driveshafts, and allows the changing or moving to new chassis’s to be relatively simple for different applications. www.earthrover.cc
Overall I had fun met some great people and would highly recommend people to subscribe to Hardware Pioneers events.