AI and Robotics Ventures (ARV), a Thailand’s leading technology development and venture building company dedicated to leveraging cutting-edge AI & Robotics technologies, as a technology spin-off from PTTEP, an upstream national oil & gas company of Thailand, and Varuna (Thailand) Co., Ltd., a leading smart technology solution provider for agriculture and environment, organized AI & Robotics Hackathon 2022: Open House in the topic of Enabling AI for Zero Hunger and Climate Action.
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The hackathon, with aim to aspire the development of advanced AgriTech to address the challenges of climate change to the agriculture sector leading to food insecurity towards global sustainable development goals, It is open to applicants from Thailand and around the world, including students, start-ups, programmers, innovators, and interested individuals, — with the aim of leveraging cutting-edge technology in hacking a solution to enhance the agriculture sector with unprecedented opportunity to work with ARV in the future.
Dr. Thana Slanvetpan, General Manager of ARV, said that “ARV is committed to innovating, developing and bringing cutting-edge AI & Robotics technologies to solve real world challenges and lead world society towards sustainable development. We have organized an AI & Robotic Hackathon every year to provide innovation playground for clients and partners with resources to accelerate and invest in high potential innovators and start-ups to develop viable solutions to meet market demands, including those of the global agriculture sector now facing a huge challenge in food production both Thailand and across the world, in order to keep path of achieving ‘Zero Hunger’, which is one essential Sustainable Development Goal.”
Pointing out the future of harnessing AI and robotics to solve core challenges related to food security and climate change, Panunya Charoensawadpong, Co-Founder of Varuna added that “According to the World Bank, approximately 30% of the world’s population lacked access to adequate food in 2020. Even worse, the COVID-19 has pushed more people all over the world into poverty. Farmers are in urgent need of long-term support and the global food system must become more efficient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable.”
“With our mission to drive agriculture technology adoption in thailand and empower the agri-ecosystem, Varuna is evolutionizing future smart farming platform with advanced technologies like data analytics, UAV, remote sensing and machine learning (ML) for smart farm, smart forest and carbon credit solutions.
Our endeavor is to take urgent actions to combat food insecurity and climate change, and that’s why the AI & Robotics Hackathon 2022 comes with the topic Enabling AI for Zero Hunger and Climate Action, to motivate bright minds to develop AgriTech innovations that tackle the challenges of food shortages threatened by the climate change. This year hackathon is open to a global audience, providing opportunities for tech talents from around the world to seek concrete solution for these critical global issues,” said Panunya.
The hackathon open house day also featured a panel discussion on the topic Reimagine the Future How AI/ML Empowering Sustainable Agriculture, bringing together technology specialists across various disciples, including Dr. Ravi Khetarpal, Executive Secretary, Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI); and Dr. Soravis Supavetch, Assist Prof Department of Civil Engineering, Kasetsart University.
The discussion session covered various issues and challenges such as the application of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for data alaytics to optimize farm productivity, reduce costs, conserve water, and reduce the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides, all of which lead to improved resource efficiency, climate resilience, and farm-to-fork sustainability; as well as several technical, social, and legal challenges that need be addressed before data in food systems can be fully utilized, and the difficulty of land use and cover mapping to generate crop classification which requires adequate training and validation of data sets.
The problem statement of the AI & Robotics Hackathon 2022 is “Create a machine learning model to classify crop types in fields using Sentinel-2 satellite images and crop data from Thailand, with the aim of seeking new methodologies for crop classification which has the potential to become a critical feature of Varuna Analytics platform and help modernize Thai agricultural sector and enhance farmers with smart-farming capabilities.
The AI & Robotics Hackathon 2022 welcomes participants from around the world, with registration opening 18 – 31 May 2022. Online hackathon dates are set on 18 – 19 June 2022 and final pitching day on 25 June 2022. The winners will receive a cash prize as well as opportunity to develop innovations in partnership with ARV or its affiliates in the future. Apply today until 5 November 2021.