CSAM-supported Team “Harvests” Prize in 2019 China Agricultural Robot Competition

2 November 2019

On 31 October 2019, the China Agricultural Robot Competition was successfully held in the coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong Province. The Event attracted nearly 50 teams and over 200 competitors from Chinese and overseas universities. The Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) supported the participation of three teams from other countries in the event, representing the Institute of Engineering, Purwanchal Campus, Nepal, National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan and University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. The Competition was a joint effort for which CSAM collaborated with the College of Engineering of China Agricultural University, China National Graduate Education Steering Committee for Professional Engineering Degree, China Agricultural Machinery Distribution Association, China Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers, and China Agricultural Mechanization Association. On the occasion of opening ceremony, Mr. LUO Xiwen, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and council member of the China Society for Agricultural Machinery, and Dr. LI Yutong, Head of CSAM, delivered opening remarks.

This is the second year that CSAM has sponsored young talent from universities in the Asia-Pacific region to participate in the Competition. After a round of review and screening, CSAM in consultation with the College of Engineering of China Agricultural University selected three teams from the region for the 2019 Competition. A total of 15 representatives including teachers and students from the above mentioned universities took part.

Focusing on the theme of selective fruit harvesting and storage, the Competition was designed to test the skills of participating students in making robots by applying key technologies such as target identification, autonomous navigation, and mechanism programming. The various teams did a commendable job in not only completing selective fruit harvesting but also highlighting the concept of sustainable development in the process of designing the robotic solutions. The team from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, was awarded the Second Prize and a Special Appreciation Prize.  
As a regional institution of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), CSAM has accorded priority to the role of youth in agriculture and is making efforts to encourage innovation and promote their engagement in sustainable agricultural mechanization through diverse approaches in contributing to the attainment of SDGs. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Li Yutong, Head of CSAM, said “Going forward, CSAM will continue to emphasize through our programmes the significance of engaging young people in the field of sustainable agricultural mechanization. We will strongly advocate for recognition of their potential, as well as support the promotion of innovation in sustainable, climate smart agricultural mechanization.”

To provide further international exposure to the teams from Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, following the Competition, CSAM also arranged their visits to the China International Agricultural Machinery Exhibition (CIAME) 2019 and a local agricultural machinery manufacturer.