Carnegie Mellon University's RoBotany Takes First Place at Cleantech UP Competition

April 5, 2017

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The team behind RoBotany, from left to right: Austin Lawrence, Austin Webb, Brac Webb and Danny Seim. (Photo courtesy of RoBotany.)
The team behind RoBotany, from left to right: Austin Lawrence, Austin Webb, Brac Webb and Danny Seim. (Photo courtesy of RoBotany.)

Carnegie Mellon University’s RoBotany took home the top $50,000 prize at the 2017 Allegheny Cleantech University Prize Collegiate Competition. The company, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has created automated robotics and software analytics to make indoor agriculture more efficient and environmentally friendly. These smart farms use 95% less water and avoid harmful top soil degradation and runoff pollution.

The competition’s second place winner was another Carnegie Mellon University team, Teratonix. Finishing in third were RE-Empower and MPEL-EV, both from the University of Maryland.

RE-Empower and Teratonix will join RoBotany at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Cleantech UP competition in June 2017.

To learn more about the Allegheny competition and this year’s competitors, visit cleantechprize.org.

DOE’s Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) business plan competitions provide aspiring student entrepreneurs with the mentorship, business development skills and training, and investor feedback they need to turn their clean energy ideas into businesses offering real-world solutions. Cleantech UP is part of the Tech-to-Market Program within the Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy.