A paper that I had to do for a class required a presentation. This was thrown together in a couple of hours, but I think that I was able to make a couple of good points. The paper is about the feasibility of an open source electronics company that is tailored to the agricultural industry.
Here I wanted to show exactly what the slide says, but also that most, if not all, of the OH Startups are in highly populated areas, and that the heartland is wide open. A quick search on almost any topic electrical will show that someone has taken some thing apart, made it better, or used it differently than the original intention. How many of these things are useful? Even if it is not useful, it took knowledge and skill to produce, how can this knowledge and skill be applied to a sector with room for improvement, how can it be made to be lucrative?
Here, I used the motor concept from O'Neill Power, which is closed source, because it showed some of the market potential for innovation, and I understood the concept because I have worked with Jim O'Neill a little on the motor, and was able to talk about some of the conversations that he has had with growers about precision ag and cost.
The top issue I raised to show the proprietary nature of some of the equipment, where it, at best is difficult to work on, and also creates more down time than would be necessary otherwise.
The bottom quote I used to show that there would be potential for open source software development to make timely image analysis feasible.
This slide shows that large farms have the capability to invest in agricultural robots, but one of the issues that I addressed is that many of the robots that I have seen are produced by Universities, and one of the situations that I have seen with underwater vehicles is that they often have a Ph.D. supporting them in an offshore environment, I am assuming that this would often be the case with agricultural robots, and my question is how feasible is this. Offshore, after the vehicles that require a Ph.D. have been seen it is not very long before someone gets the idea to build their own that is easy to operate and reliable.
Another point, is that even though the large farms are able to invest in robotics, here it is shown that small farms are still the majority, and these solutions are not practical at all. Robots may not even be practical, but there is still room for increased efficiency.
Here some of the questions to be asked are, Is it responsible to grow rice in California?, Should water be pumped out of the Ogalala to grow hogs?, Are fish farms in West Texas a good Idea? They prevent introduction of invasive species, but is it worth what is lost in the evaporation rate alone? If these aren't good ideas what are possible, economically viable solutions?