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Massey's workshops open to AgTech Hackathon

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Massey will be helping young innovators turn their ideas into reality.

Massey University will be opening its laboratories and workshops for the AgTech Hackathon this Friday and Saturday.

A hackathon asks people from information technology and software development backgrounds to work with groups to solve a problem through the creation of usable software or hardware. The AgTech Hackathon, delivered in conjunction with NZ Agrifood Week, brings together these specialists in groups of three or four to work with real farmers and industry experts on one of four challenges.

Over 1.5 days, the teams then build their solutions, with a pool of mentors helping to validate and develop the solution.

The challenges this year will include:

How can we enable farmers to incorporate leaf stage into their pasture management decisions?

How can we use technology to efficiently and accurately monitor and report on water quality?

How can we leverage technology to train/upskill farm workers and potentially attract new workers to farming?

And the biggest problem in pasture-based animal farming, how can pasture utilisation be optimised?

Part of Massey’s sponsorship includes opening its workshops up to participants so they can create some of their ideas, working with Massey technicians to use 3D printers, laser cutters, electronic laboratories and much more.

Last year’s winning ideas included a platform for data storage and transmission, using blockchain technology on farm and a prototype with sensors that alerted farmers when there was a fault in water flows to reduce water wastage.

Massey Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (Mechatronics) graduate Mitchell Coleman was one of last year’s winners, working with local agritech company Levno. Coleman is now an embedded software engineer at the company, developing an idea to detect leaks in farm water troughs.

The Hackathon was collaboratively founded by Microsoft, BCC, Manawatu-Rangitikei Federated Farmers, Accelerate 25, Future Institutes and New Zealand AgriFood Week.

The award ceremony and expo will be at Central Districts Fieldays by the Start Tent (by the food courts),on Saturday, beginning at 1pm.

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