Farmwave has been working on multiple iterations of hardware to bring its vision of artificial intelligence (AI) for harvest loss to the field since 2019.
"It's been a real challenge for us. Our focus has always been on the AI and the software but the hardware simply didn't exist to run our AI on, especially at the edge," says Craig Ganssle, Farmwave Founder & CEO.
Building hardware for the agriculture environment can be challenging and even more so when it comes to real estate within the cab of farm machinery such as combine harvesters.
"The right side of the cab can be a fight for real estate. You better have something of value if you're going to ask a farmer to install your tech in the machine," Ganssle says.
Farmwave's vision AI software monitors harvest loss autonomously without stopping, showing you where grain loss is coming from on the machine in real-time. Cameras uniquely positioned on the header and rear of the machine take pictures every 3 seconds, and literally count the kernels in each image and do the math to calculate how much grain the farmer is leaving behind. When farmers see these losses, they can then immediately manipulate the machine to reduce the loss and retain more of the grain.
In the beginning, Farmwave focused on rapid deployment over all-day run capabilities. This was needed to be able to show that the AI would work, and show it quickly without taking a lot of time out of the farmer's busy schedule to demonstrate the benefits of Farmwave’s technology. But in 2023, expanding to 80+ dealer locations in North America and selling over 100 units the first year, Farmwave was eager to get to the next iteration of hardware; an all-in-one tablet design.
"We knew the hardware would need enough horsepower to run our AI at the edge because there's limited connectivity on farms. It would also need to be portable enough to take it to connectivity so data can upload as well as be rugged enough to withstand the farm environment. We found all of this in the Dell Latitude 7230 Rugged Extreme Tablet, and Dell Technologies was able to build it to our specs for our edge-AI," Ganssle says.
As for the real estate in the cab, Havis, Inc. has decades of experience in manufacturing and installing docking station solutions in demanding industries such as Energy & Utilities, Warehouse & Distribution, Waste Management, and Public Safety. The Havis IP65-rated docking stations for the Dell Latitude 7230 Rugged Extreme Tablet are purpose-built to meet the rigorous demands of applications in the harshest environments.
These rugged docking solutions feature a two-piece design that ensures unparalleled protection against dust and water while maintaining device mobility. Seamless integration of multiple peripherals is made effortless with comprehensive port replication to streamline workflow and enhance productivity.
"Havis is thrilled to introduce a robust mobility solution with an IP65 rating specifically designed for the agriculture industry," says Sam Barall, Havis Director of Sales for Enterprise. "Our docking stations are customized to meet the distinct requirements of Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme Tablet users, showcasing our steadfast dedication to providing solutions that elevate productivity and reliability, especially in challenging agricultural conditions. Partnering with Farmwave further strengthens our commitment to agricultural technology, ensuring seamless integration and heightened productivity for farmers."