Last month Northwest Nazarene University Robotics Vision Lab was notified they had been awarded a $101,000 grant by the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation. This specialty crop grant, presented by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), will allow the University’s faculty and student researchers to continue working on a project they have been developing for the past several years.
“This grant will help our engineering students continue to improve the performance of the fruit harvesting robot named OrBot that we have designed and built,” said Duke Bulanon, NNU professor of engineering. “It will be beneficial in helping us continue to move forward with this project as we strive to meet the agricultural needs in our local area.”
This cutting-edge technology generated in NNU’s Physics and Engineering program allows undergraduate students to get revolutionary, hands-on experience applying what they’re learning in the classroom. The OrBot, now gaining national attention, has the potential to change how fruit is harvested.
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture sponsors the research and promotion of projects that aid specialty crop growers in Idaho. Since the program was created in 2009, the ISDA has awarded 181 projects a total of $18.35 million.