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July 07th 2015:Smart Food and Precision Agriculture

By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9.2 billion, 34 percent higher than today. With companies like Google racing to extend our lives, are we going to have enough food to feed an increasing population who are living longer than any time in history? Over $2.3 billion in venture money was invested in agtech in 2014. In this episode, we will explore how precision agriculture is transforming one of the world’s oldest industries. The advanced technologies are helping farmers collect real-time data and predict a variety of variables, such as plant stress level and water usage, to optimize

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Featured Guests

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Alex Thomasson

Alex Thomasson has conducted research in precision-agriculture related fields for over 25 years. His research has generally involved sensing needs such as monitoring crop yield during harvest. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky and started his career as a research engineer with USDA. He subsequently spent several years on the faculty at Mississippi State University and has been a Professor of Biological & Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University since 2005, teaching courses in machinery and electronics. Dr. Thomasson is a registered Professional Engineer and a 25-year member of the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE). He has served as
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Dr. Jim Ostrowski

Dr. Jim Ostrowski is Vice President of Engineering for Blue River Technology, a Sunnyvale-based company working to bring tools from computer vision and robotics to bear in agriculture. Before that, he worked for Evolution Robotics, which later became Evolution Robotics Retail, before being acquired by Datalogic. Jim's field of expertise includes mobile robotics, nonlinear dynamics, and vision-based recognition and control. Before joining the start-up world, Jim was at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the General Robotics, Sensing, Automation and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory. He h
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