CITRIS-supported UC Santa Cruz team wins prize in Farm Robotics Challenge

Six people in casual outfits standing in front of a freshly planted field.

A team of students co-advised by CITRIS PI Dejan Milutinovic received the Small Farm prize at the inaugural Farm Robotics Challenge.

Known as the “Electrified Slugs,” Milutinovic’s team was one of 19 participating in the competition. Their project used feedback control navigation to develop autonomous navigation software that allows an electric tractor to weed plant lines on small, diversified organic farms.

“At this point, we are pushing the envelope of what is possible in food production,” Milutinovic said. “And it’s not naive since we have to deal with uncertainties of operations on real farms. Robotics have decades of development, but we are just now in the position to get these robots outdoors and do some real stuff. That’s really exciting.”

The project was supported by a 2022 CITRIS at UC Santa Cruz campus seed grant.