By: Anna Hrushka
Hawaii’s first agriculture hackathon wrapped up over the weekend, with a local coffee grower planning to implement the technology developed by the competition’s first place finishers.
Kauai Coffee Company General Manager Fred Cowell said he plans to use Harvest Vision’s artificial intelligence camera in its fall harvest this year.
The device, which earned the team a $3,000 first place price, gives immediate harvest data to operators in the field, and was developed through the combined talent of Oceanit Labs, Kauai Coffee and Kamehameha Schools.
Cowell said he anticipates the system would increase coffee fruit recovery with an added value of nearly $250,000 per year.
A total of 10 teams participated in the week-long competition, which kicked off after the Department of Agriculture provided participants with a list of prompts or areas in need of solutions.
A digital app for non-English speaking farmers placed second, and an online data tool that allows farmers to input information and trace problems to an exact source took third.
“Events like this prove that in a short period of time, through bringing people together, we can create solutions,” said Robbie Melton, CEO of the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, which hosted the event.
Melton said next year she would like to extend the competition’s timeframe, giving participants a longer period to develop their projects.
Sponsors for the event were the State of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture, HTDC, Ulupono Initiative, the Transform Hawaii Government Coalition, Smart Yields, Whitmore Economic Development Group and Hawaii Open Data.
“It’s critically important for us to support these types of events,” said Transform Hawaii Government Executive Director Christine Sakuda, who also judged the competition. “We are always advocates of finding real world applications to help solve some of the state’s challenges.”