As climate change makes growing food more challenging, Israeli scientists and experts have found high tech solutions for farming that can save lives and livelihoods. I had the opportunity to ask one of the top innovators, Yuval Aviel, Co-Founder & CEO of Autonomous Pivot (AP) about his exciting work to transform center-pivot irrigation systems into an intelligent, AI-driven robotic platform that can improve farming returns.
Yuval is brilliant. I got to meet him when I was in Israel visiting groundbreaking solutions on climate change. Previously he was the Senior Technical Leader for Mobileye, an Israeli autonomous-driving technology company. He holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Hebrew University and is now using his experience to solve food supply challenges.
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: What is the specific problem that you and your team at Autonomous Pivot have been able to solve?
Yuval Aviel PhD: Autonomous Pivot is dedicated to addressing the inefficiencies and challenges faced by the agriculture industry, particularly in irrigation management and crop monitoring. The specific problem we are committed to solving revolves around the limitations and inadequacies of traditional irrigation methods, which often lead to unnecessary water wastage, ineffective crop monitoring, and unsustainable farming practices.
Our focus is on revolutionizing pivot irrigation systems by integrating cutting-edge technology, such as AI-driven sensors and data analytics, into these systems. We aim to enhance precision, optimize water usage, improve crop health, and overall, create a more sustainable and efficient agricultural ecosystem.
How do you solve it?
By developing and deploying our Autonomous Pivot technology, we’re striving to tackle key issues such as:
Water Conservation: Traditional irrigation methods often lead to overwatering or under-watering, resulting in water wastage or insufficient hydration for crops. Our technology enables precise and automated water delivery, ensuring optimal moisture levels for crops while conserving water resources.
Crop Monitoring and Health: Inaccurate or delayed crop monitoring can lead to reduced yields, crop diseases, or ineffective responses to environmental changes. Our solution provides frequent monitoring and analysis of crop health, enabling early detection of issues and timely interventions to enhance overall crop productivity.
Sustainability: Agriculture is facing increasing pressure to adopt more sustainable practices. Our technology aids in reducing environmental impact by optimizing resource usage, minimizing chemical input, and supporting more efficient and eco-friendly farming methods.
Efficiency and Productivity: By automating irrigation and providing data-driven insights, we empower farmers with actionable information to make informed decisions, thereby increasing overall farm efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
In summary, our company is dedicated to providing innovative solutions that revolutionize traditional pivot irrigation systems, ensuring more efficient, sustainable, and productive agricultural practices.
Why is solving this problem important to you? Why should others care?
Solving the challenges in agriculture, particularly in irrigation management and crop monitoring, is crucial to me personally and to our company, Autonomous Pivot (AP), for several significant reasons:
Sustainable Agriculture: Ensuring the sustainability of agriculture is vital for our planet’s future. Agriculture consumes vast amounts of water and resources, and inefficient practices can lead to environmental degradation. By optimizing water usage and enhancing crop health through technology, we contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly farming approach, crucial for preserving our environment and natural resources.
Global Food Security: Agriculture plays a pivotal role in providing food to the world’s population. With a growing global population, ensuring food security becomes increasingly challenging. Our technology aims to enhance agricultural efficiency, which is crucial for meeting the food demands of a burgeoning population while preserving resources for future generations.
Economic Impact: Agriculture is not only crucial for feeding the world but also a significant economic contributor. Improving agricultural practices through technology can enhance productivity, reduce waste, and bolster the economic prosperity of farmers and agricultural industries globally.
Innovation and Progress: Advancements in technology have the potential to revolutionize traditional industries. By introducing innovative solutions like Autonomous Pivot, we pave the way for a new era of precision farming, leveraging technology to address age-old challenges and improve overall productivity and efficiency in agriculture.
Israeli Economic: By establishing agricultural technology we generate employment opportunities within the country. Additionally, as our technology gains recognition and acceptance globally, it enhances Israel’s presence on the international market, leading to increased exports. This, in turn, boosts Israel’s economy, fostering economic resilience, sustainability, and competitiveness on a global scale.
Others should care about solving these agricultural challenges because it impacts everyone. It affects the environment we live in, the food we consume, and the economies we rely on. By supporting advancements in agriculture through innovative solutions like AP’s technology, we collectively contribute to a more sustainable, food-secure, and prosperous future for all.
What proof/studies show that your solution has potential/works?
Three sources of information shows that AP’s solution works:
• Hundreds of growers with more than 90% retention rate indicates that our solution provides values to the customer.
• On a more scientific level, we are conducting a several years field-by-field study. The study shows consistent water and energy savings with an increase in yield.
• Another study compares fields that are using AP to fields that are using other advanced tech on about 30 fields. Here again, we can show that fields using AP saves 18% irrigation water compared to the fields with other technologies.
Both studies are detailed in this Water Saving Results deck.
What have been some of your biggest successes?
• Growing exponentially
• Attracting VC investments
• Working with Nutrien, the largest Ag retailer in the US and Australia
• Working with RDO and CSS, some of the largest potato producers in the US
• Being recommended and subsidized by the Kansas Water Office
As you move ahead, are you looking for partners? Where and how others can help?
On the technical level, we encourage collaboration with third party sensors. We strive to collect all the information relevant to optimal farming. If we can’t have a sensor, we will look for another company who does and collaborate with them.
On the sales level, we look for companies to sell, distribute, support and service our systems.
If folks want to know more about your company, how where can they find information or connect?
Website, LinkedIn and email: