“How can we help greenhouse farmers raise crop yields, while reducing costs at the same time?” This question launched ADI, (Applied Drone Innovations) a Delft based robotics start-up who this week finished as runner-up at the Philips Innovation Award, the biggest student-entrepreneurship award in the Netherlands.
Their innovation? A robotic system that produces maps and data visualisations for greenhouse farmers, to spot bugs and pests with precision amongst thousands of plants.
William Simmonds, CEO and co-founder, says: “ADI is on a mission to become the Google of AgriData. We bridge biology and technology, providing an eye in the sky for the Dutch horticultural sector.”
This vibrant RoboValley community member has zoomed in on a customer need for sure. ADI team members visit their clients weekly to gather data. They let drones roam around greenhouses with an ingenious new indoor positioning system, based around ultra-wideband beacons. An activity that many greenhouse farmers welcome, as their farms keep getting bigger and they have ever more hectares to look after.
ADI’s success at the Philips Innovation Award comes fresh on the heels of another achievement. In February, it secured 350,000 euros from the MIT R&D grant. They are using that money for a collaboration with partner Avular, an Eindhoven-based startup focused on enabling mobile robotics.
As ADI keeps scaling the heights of data driven horticulture, we are looking with admiration how this young company combines service with technological innovation, making greenhouse farming even more equipped for producing good food for people.