DEXTER , DifferenceMakers

Thanh Hoang and Trung Nguyen onstage pitching DEXTER, the pesticide-spraying robot

Pesticides are the best and worst invention, best for being able to increase a crop’s yield and provide more produce, and worst because of the environmental and health-related issues of them being used excessively.

As a team aspiring to bring more to agricultural innovation, DEXTER is aiming to help reduce the costs both financially as well as environmentally to fruit farms. The team consists of Thanh Hoang, a senior in Electrical Engineering, and Trung Nguyen, a senior in Mechanical Engineering. They hope to improve the efficiency of spraying pesticides on farms, and to help reduce the financial strain that comes with dumping the pesticides over their crops.
DEXTER, the pesticide-spraying robot, will be designed primarily for fruit spraying, as larger fruits make better targets development. The robot would use a visual of each tree to identify where each fruit is, then spray in that particular area, to help conserve the pesticide and pollution. 
As the winner of the Innovative Technology Solution category in the 2018 Idea Challenge, DEXTER won $4,500 to go toward their project. The team is still working on developing their prototype and consulting with farmers on their pesticide needs. This team hopes to reduce the costs and environmental damage associated with excessive pesticide use, and to make an impact on the agricultural industry with their technology.