Further development of the senior capstone project that won best overall design at Engineering Design Day 2017 -- a drone-based pollination system -- is the first interdisciplinary learning experience in the Go To Market initiative recently launched by the UA College of Engineering, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture. The capstone project was sponsored by the UA Department of Biosystems Engineering.
The new program will see undergraduate engineering students and graduate students from the Eller College of Management -- in partnership with Tech Launch Arizona, Bard Date Co. and the Muzzy Foundation -- devising aerial pollination methods for date trees in the form of a true startup venture.
“The agriculture business has lots of room for optimization,” said Brandon Bass, an electrical and computer engineering undergraduate among the students on a September field trip to a Yuma date grove. “Hearing so much about date trees and date pollen cannot match what it is like to physically be there. The trip provided a connection between the engineering concepts and the realities on the ground.”