Girish Chowdhary Wins Illinois Innovation Network Award

8/30/2021 3:40:07 PM

EarthSense co-founder Girish Chowdhary, a professor of computer science and of agricultural and biological engineering, recently received the Innovation Award from the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), a group of public universities and community colleges that work together to improve the state's economy.  

“We are thrilled to celebrate these innovators and their discoveries,” said Jay Walsh, interim vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois System, which coordinates the network of IIN education and innovation hubs. “They are all examples of the incredible research, discovery and education going on at our state’s universities, and we are incredibly grateful for the impactful work that each one of them is doing.”

Girish Chowdhary, pictured here with the TerraSentia robot, won an Illinois Innovation Network award in August 2021.
Girish Chowdhary, pictured here with the TerraSentia robot, won an Illinois Innovation Network award in August 2021.

EarthSense enables the creation of highly productive, resilient and sustainable crops, and fundamental improvements in farm profitability. Its first product, the TerraSentia robot field phenotyping system, provides 100 times as much trait data for a tenth the effort, compared to current methods of field data collection.

The compact, easy-to-use, under-canopy robot measures critical plant traits such as stem width, leaf area index and leaf and stem diseases with unprecedented accuracy and ease. EarthSense's machine vision and machine learning-based analytics seamlessly convert terabytes of multi-sensor field data to quantitative, consistent and objective information to reduce these risks.

The TerraSentia robot uses sensors to collect data on crop health, as well as machine learning-based analytics to convert this data into actionable insights for farmers.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, EarthSense is working to adapt its autonomous robots for cleaning in hospitals and public spaces. By reducing the need for sanitary workers, EarthSense’s robotic cleaning units can help lower the community transmission rates of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.