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Manoj Karkee Agricultural Automation and Robotics Lab

Outreach/Extension Activities

6th IFAC AgriControl – December 4-6, 2019; Sydney, Australia

It was a peer reviewed conference, organized and hosted by UNSW Sydney under IFAC 8.1 Control in Agriculture (a technical committee chaired by Dr. Karkee) and was

held at the Fullerton Hotel (currently the Westin) in Sydney’s CBD. The objective of the conference was to promote and disseminate sensing, control and automation research directed at agriculture. The conference scope spanned the areas of fundamental, developmental, as well as applied and experimental work from the researchers working in the broader area of agricultural automation and robotics.

International Workshop on Automation and Robotics in Agriculture; organized WSU-UTS joint center of #AgRobotics; Dec 3, 2019; Sydney Australia

Washington State University-University Technology Sydney Joint Center on #AgRobotics organized an international workshop on Agricultural Automation and Robotics. About 80 scientists, researchers, engineers, students and other stakeholders from around the world attended the workshop held at University Technology Sydney on Dec 3, 2019. The workshop provided attendees an opportunity to be a part of an important discussion led by prominent, invited researchers and entrepreneurs from both academia and industry. The workshop reviewed the latest accomplishment on agricultural automation and robotics, assessed the limitations and challenges and discussed the potential direction for future research and development.





Department chairs hosted at CPAAS; November 6, 2019

Dr. Karkee provided a guided tour CPAAS facilities and projects to chairs from various departments at WSU.

IAREC Centennial Celebration; October 3-5, 2019

Our team actively participated in various events organized at IAREC for its Centennial celebration. We demonstrated our robotic systems to public visitors in the event ‘Past, Present & future of IAREC’ and presented the accomplishment of our research program to a large group of invited dignitaries including WSU President Kirk Schulz and US Congressman Dan Newhouse.








CPAAS Ag Tech Day; August 22, 2019

Co-organized WSU CPAAS Ag Technology Day. A series of plenary sessions were provided by invited speakers including “Automation of Platforms/Farm Operations” by Mel Torrie (ASI Robots), “Automation and Robotics in specialty crops” by Dr. Manoj Kark

ee, “FarmBeats: Empowering Farmers with Affordable Digital Agriculture Solutions” by Dr. Ranveer Chandra (Microsoft FarmBeats), “Intelligent Orchard Sprayers (Ground and Aerial)” by Dr. Lav Khot. Following the presentations, our team demonstrated various research prototypes to the attendees.






Allan Brothers, Inc.; May 20, 2019; Naches, WA

Agricultural Automation and Engineering Club (and Dr. Karkee as the adviser of the club) organized an industrial visit to Allan Brothers, Inc., an agricultural and fruit packing company. The company is recognized for their high quality domestic and export fruit products. The visit presented an opportunity to WSU participants to learn about the production and packing processes as well as tools and technologies currently used in the industry. We also interacted extensively with the company leaders to understand the needs of the industry around automation and robotics technologies and how our research program could play a role in developing solutions to meet those needs.







Visitors from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences hosted at CPAAS; May 15, 2019

Researchers from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Beijing) were given a tour of major research activities at the center. We also discussed about potential ways WSU could collaborate with the academy in the future.





Joint Center Established: Sep 23-25, 2018

A joint center on #AgRobotics was established between WSU Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems and the Center for Autonomous Systems at University Technology Sydney (UTS). A group of  researchers and university leaders from UTS were hosted at WSU Pullman and at WSU CPAAS from Sep 23 to 25, 2018 to sign the agreement (signed by WSU Vice President Christopher Keane and UTS counterpart), to give tours of our research programs and facilities, and to discuss about the potential direction and collaborative activities the join center would focus on in the future. 


National Crop Insurance Leaders: Sep 14, 2018

Various Ag technologies being developed at CPAAS were briefed to a tour group of National Crop Insurance Leaders.





Visitors from Spain: June 21, 2018

A group of tree fruit growers and researchers (Led by Joan Bonany, IRTA) from Catalonia, Spain were hosted at WSU CPAAS. Dr. Manoj Karkee led the team through a discussion of various research projects currently being carried out at the center and a tour of various prototype systems developed at the center. CPAAS director Dr. Qin Zhang and faculty member Dr. Lav Khot also participated in the discussion and tour. The visitors expressed a huge interest on automation robotics and precision ag technologies for orchards.




Crop and Soil Science Graduates: May 10, 2018

CPAAS welcomed current graduate students from Crop/Soil & Horticultural sciences at WSU and presented prototypes and results from various projects on precision and automated agricultural systems.




University Industry Consortium Tour – 4/24/2018

On April 24, a tour was organized to more than 50 participants of University Industry Consortium, a consortium of leaders from agricultural colleges (Deans/Associate Deans from 25 land grant universities) and industries (CEO/other top leaders from 25 major agricultural relevant companies) around the county. They visited CPASS for more than an hour. Various research projects were displayed and demonstrated including apple picking robot, shake and catch fruit harvesting machine, bird deterrence system based on drones, red raspberry cane bundling and tying mechanism, handheld blossom thinner, bin management systems for tree fruits production, and automated weed control robots.

Prosser Science expo – April 21, 2018

Our team displayed apple harvesting robot and other robotic technologies being developed at our lab to K-12 students and other community members attending Prosser Science Expo organized at Prosser High School. Technologies displayed attracted a lot of students, which could be helpful in bringing new generation into agricultural industry (including higher education, research, development, and operation).




Expo at REACH Museum – Feb 24, 2018

On February 24, 2018, research and development activities at CPAAS were presented to the local community including K-12 student at an Agricultural Technology day held at Hanford Reach Interpretive Center (REACH Museum).

SPARK – Feb 21, 2018

A group of high school students (~100) attending a SPARK program (a program focusing on agricultural education to high school students) from different schools around Prosser, WA visited CPAAS. The program focused on providing hand-on experience to high school students on cutting edge research and facilitate interaction between high school and graduate student researchers working in various research projects at CPAAS. Our team demonstrated several projects and prototypes of agricultural automation and robotics including robotic apple harvesting, red raspberry cane bundling and taping, spectrometric sensing of plants.




President’s Visit – Feb, 7, 2018

WSU CPAAS hosted WSU President Kirk Schulz, first lady and Professor Noel Schulz, CAHNRS Dean Ron Mittelhammer, and other members of WSU leadership team on Feb 7, 2018. Precision ag, and ag automation and robotics projects and prototypes we demonstrated were well received and regarded by the president and the leadership team.




2017 CPAAS Tech Day (7/31, 2017)

CPAAS Expo (generally a biannual event) is organized to showcase all the research projects and prototypes to growers, manufacturers, crop consultants, policy makers, government organizations and other stakeholders of agricultural industry. 2017 event was attended by close to 200 people. 



PNNL ‘Food for Thought’ Robot Show (7/29, 2017)


The goal of the event was to demonstrate various types of applications of robotic systems to the public. We were one of the presenters and exhibitors displaying/demonstrating the robotic apple harvesting system.


Congressional Visit (4/7, 2017)

WSU CPAAS along with Jim Moyer, Assoc. Dean of CAHNRS, welcomed Congressman Dan Newhouse, our 4th District Representative, and Chairman Rodney Davis, the 13th District Representative of Illinois for a visit to our research programs. Dr. Manoj Karkee demonstrated various technologies being developed at the center including robotic apple harvesting and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-based systems.


The Science of Agriculture (3/15, 2017)

The goal of the event is to inform our local high school students of all the opportunities around Science and Engineering  in Agriculture and research and development activities at IAREC (Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center) and CPAAS. We demonstrated various automation and robotic technologies being developed and evaluated at our lab.


Agricultural Technology Conference Expo (2/21-2/22, 2017)

We demonstrated our automation and robotic system prototypes in the 2017 Agricultural Technology Conference Expo in Spokane, WA (Feb 21-22, 2017). Robotic apple picking machine, shake and catch harvesting machine, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (or Drone)-based bird deterrence system were presented in this event organized by Northwest Farm Credit Services.