Update: South Dakota State and University of Wisconsin-Madison win the Bot Shot Championship
Over the decades, basketball has moved from peach baskets and three man weaves to spreadsheets and science. So has agriculture. As technology infiltrates everything, the threads between sports and farming get stronger -- uniting work in the paint with work in the field.
The connections are important. We’ve got almost 10 billion mouths to feed globally and fewer acres and farmers to feed them with. The evolution of robotics and machine learning in one arena will influence performance and success in another. If today’s college students can teach a robot to sink a bank shot from half court, imagine how their brainpower can influence satellite imagery and soil maps for better crop management or the robots used for the care and milking of dairy cows.
On April 7, Land O’Lakes Bot Shot brings it all together, uniting college robotics teams in a precision performance competition on the basketball court. From initial skills tests to a game of H-O-R-S-E -- and ultimately the chance to challenge Hall of Famer David Robinson -- these teams will demonstrate how innovative thinking, team dynamics and applied learning are pushing the boundaries of robotics.
Over the last two months, teams from Iowa State, North Carolina A&T, Purdue, South Dakota State, the University of Florida, the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been busy building and perfecting robots capable of sinking free throws, bank shots, lay-ups and three-pointers, all in an effort to punch their ticket to the Bot Shot final competition.
After a virtual qualifying round, we’ve narrowed down the contenders to the following schools who are packing their bags -- and their robots -- for Minneapolis.
Beyond basketball, the truth of the matter is that we can’t do our job of feeding a growing population without technology. And leveraging technology in new and innovative ways in the future is key.
So, from farmer to fork to free throw, Land O’Lakes keeps pushing the boundaries (backboards) to tell our ag tech story.