Judges 2018

Judges for 2018 Competitions

Craig Rupp, Director of Engineering, The Climate Corporation

Craig has over 25 years of engineering and entrepreneurial experience. Craig started his career in 1988 as a hardware engineer at Motorola, designing and developing the first GSM mobile station.  He subsequently transferred his talents to Motorola’s Iridium project and became a Lead Engineer, addressing satellite communication issues.

In 1995, Craig co-founded Alliance Technologies Group (ATG), a contract and consulting firm providing RF solutions to the manufacturing industry. In 2000, Craig dissolved ATG and landed at John Deere, designing and developing Deere’s Starfire receiver and Greenstar display. In 2002, Craig re-ignited ATG and focused on providing state-of-the-art RF measurement and generation algorithms for high-volume manufacturing. National Instruments (NI) acquired his company in 2005.

Craig then spent 10 years at National Instruments, becoming a Chief Architect. He architected, designed, developed, and first deployed AM, FM, RDS, Bluetooth, GSM, EDGE, CDMA2k, EVDO, WCDMA, TDSCDMA, and LTE measurement solutions. His actions were seminal in growing NI’s RF business to $130MM in revenue. His success in Q4 of 2011 finally took the company over their $1B hurdle.

In 2012, Craig’s co-founded 640 Labs, a data collection and analytics company focused on agriculture. Craig was the CTO at 640 Labs and lead the company in developing the 640 Drive, a device capable of transmitting both machine and agronomic data to the cloud, and the 640 Cloud, a complex data storage and analytics platform. Craig’s company achieved VC funding and was acquired by The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto.

Craig is passionate about technology and is not afraid of adopting new technology. Raised on a farm in northwest Iowa, he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Iowa State University in 1988 and subsequently earned his master’s degree in 1990 from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He currently has 13 patents.

Craig was a judge for the 2016 and 2017 agBOT Challenge Competitions.

 

 

Jorge Heraud, Chief Executive Officer, Blue River Technology

Jorge Heraud is the CEO of Blue River Technology (www.bluerivert.com) a company he cofounded in 2011 and was acquired by John Deere in September 2017.  Blue River uses Computer Vision and Machine Learning to spray herbicides to the weeds only, reducing herbicide use by 10X

Prior to Blue River, Jorge worked at Trimble as Business Unit Director for Precision Agriculture, and as Director of Engineering, working in automatic steering, displays, GPS receivers and variable rate controllers

Jorge holds three Master degrees from Stanford University in Engineering and Business, as well a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.  He was born in Peru and now lives in Sunnyvale, CA with his wife Erika, son Jorge (15) and daughter Isabella (6).

 

Sam Dietrich, Software Developer & Analyst, DOT Technology Corp.

Sam graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences Majoring in Industrial Systems Engineering and a Double Minor in Electronics and Software Systems Engineering. He was a member of two past AgBot championship teams, winning the 2016 Seeding Competition as the University of Regina and the 2017 Weed and Feed Competition as Prairie Robotics. Prairie Robotics is a software and hardware integrator focusing on the design of highly intuitive, sustainable, and practical mechatronics systems including general user interfaces, autonomous navigation, control systems, and machine learning. It was found in 2016 by Dean Kertia, Josh Friedrick, Caleb Friedrick and Sam Dietrich. Sam’s work experience spans academia and industry with a research internship at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in Kanpur, India and software development experience at Farm Credit Canada prior to joining DOT Technology Corp. Sam currently works as a Software Developer & Analyst for DOT Technology Corp., a Saskatchewan-based business and creator of the DOT Power Platform, a mobile diesel-powered platform designed to handle a large variety of implements commonly used in agriculture, mining and construction.

 

Bob Peterson, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board, Broadband Antenna Tracking Systems, Inc. (BATS)

Mr. Peterson started his career as a software development engineer for the Department of Defense at Naval Avionics Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Peterson quickly became project engineer for a smart Air-To-Ground bomb test set revision project. Mr. Peterson started his first business in 1990 when he founded a software development firm (Eclipse) which he grew to over $7 Million in revenue in 1996. In 1997, Mr. Peterson founded and was CEO of RealMed Corporation, a company focusing on health care real-time claims resolution (eligibility, adjudication and payment). Mr. Peterson secured 35+ Million in equity financing for the company and the company filed to become a public company in 2001. Mr. Peterson left RealMed as a full time employee in 2001 to pursue other opportunities but remained an active board member until 2004. Mr. Peterson possesses a strong technical background in engineering and software development along with 25+ years of entrepreneurial business development, financing and management. Mr. Peterson holds a bachelors’ degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. *BATS’ provides a proprietary software and hardware platform that locates, locks and tracks wireless broadband communication access points.  BATS’ enables organizations to rapidly deploy self-healing, fixed or mobile broadband wireless networks over long distances without skilled technical resources. Bob was a judge in the 2016 and 2017 agBOT Challenge Competitions.

Caleb Friedrick, Software Developer & Analyst, DOT Technology Corp.

Caleb graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences Majoring in Industrial Systems Engineering with Great Distinction in Spring 2016. He was a member of two past AgBot championship teams, winning the 2016 Seeding Competition as the University of Regina and the 2017 Weed and Feed Competition as Prairie Robotics.  Prairie Robotics is a software and hardware integrator focusing on the design of highly intuitive, sustainable, and practical mechatronics systems including general user interfaces, autonomous navigation, control systems, and machine learning. It was found in 2016 by Dean Kertia, Josh Friedrick, Caleb Friedrick and Sam Dietrich. Caleb has spent the past two years splitting his time between mechanical design of agriculture equipment at SeedMaster and software development at DOT Technology Corp. Caleb currently works as a Software Developer & Analyst for DOT Technology Corp., a Saskatchewan-based business and creator of the DOT Power Platform, a mobile diesel-powered platform designed to handle a large variety of implements commonly used in agriculture, mining and construction.

Bill Thompson, Owner, Thompson Farms

Bill Thompson has been farming in Parke County, Indiana for 45 years. He attended Wabash College and Indiana State University. He plants corn and soybeans and recently converted to 15″ row corn. He has experience with ridge till but now no tills all his acres. He has also planted cover crops for 30 years and uses Precision Planting technology such as auto steer guidance and variable ratings of seed and fertilizers. Bill was a judge in the 2016 and 2017 agBOT Challenge Competitions.

Kyler Laird, Managing Member Lairdscape LLC, Indian Farm

Kyler was raised on the farm, growing corn and soybeans with his father and grandfather. He received a Bachelor’s degree in ComputerScience from Purdue University. After Completing his degree, he worked for the Purdue School of Engineering for ten years while completing his Master’s in Agricultural Systems Management. In 2001, he contributed to founding the University of California Merced where he continues to work in the School of Engineering.

Starting in 2011, Kyler took over management of his family farm which is now grown to be 1700 acres of Lairdscape land. In 2016, Kyler modified his grandfather’s tractor to drill 50 acres of soybeans autonomously and automated a modern tractor to operate a grain cart in the field during harvest. In 2017, Kyler used his autonomous planter to seed 535 acres of corn.  Kyler took home the agBOT Challenge Seeding Competition Championship title in 2017.

Kyler continues to develop innovative solutions for row-crop agriculture and assists his wife’s pastured poultry and produce operation. He serves as a board member for his local Soil and Water Conservation District and the Robot Operating System Agriculture (ROS-A).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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