I spent yesterday evening with a wonderful group of people discussing, in great detail, the animals that like to eat our vegetables. It’s a discussion we have at home quite often, but my companions last evening were not farmers. They were not gardeners. They were inventors and they wanted to invent a new way to deter these four-legged freeloading vegetarians. Did I mention they were young people? Very young people. I didn’t ask their ages because I didn’t want to reveal mine, but they were not yet jaded and the only cell phone that interrupted the evening was mine. They knew what they were doing though and were well prepared. I was not. All I knew was that I was a farmer and they wanted to speak to one. And so we spoke.
We talked about the monetary damage that wildlife cause to farmers and the annoyance of having your flowerbeds destroyed. The team was adamant that they wanted to repel and in no way hurt the wildlife, even giving consideration to how much of a fright would keep them away from the plants without driving them onto the roads in a panic.
The team asked about which types of animals caused the most problems on our farm and which animals might cause the most damage overall. We all agreed that deer are a huge problem and that it wouldn’t be possible to deter all animals with one robot. They were concerned about the cost! It was fantastic to see that they really wanted to make a difference. They could design a robot, they could build a robot, but they wanted to design an affordable robot that was useful to people other than themselves.
Thank you RoboBees, I had a fantastic time and I will treasure my challenge coin, I hope you all win one at the competition.