College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Lie Tang utilizes plant-measuring robots to improve crop health

Lie Tang, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, is working with scientists to improve crop resiliency using robots called PhenoBots. These robots collect data about plants as they grow in specific environments. With this data, the team can learn more about plant genes, environments for crops and ultimately a way to provide food to the world’s …Continue reading “Lie Tang utilizes plant-measuring robots to improve crop health”

Monitoring animal health

Researchers are using remote sensing technologies to increase the health and efficiency of livestock production. One of the studies involved tracking chickens to get a sense of the basics for potential cage-free production. How many feeders to provide a cage-
free flock is one of the many production questions that need answering, says Hongwei Xin, director of …Continue reading “Monitoring animal health”

Creating new worlds to study plant life

“You can observe and measure phenotype, but it has been mostly done manually,” Tang says. “We see more and more automated applications to help scientists collect data. With the Enviratron we can probe the plant with very high precision using the robotic arm’s advanced imaging and sensors.”

Change Agent: Lie Tang

Lie Tang’s research has contributed to innovations such as tractors that drive themselves and robots that hunt down weeds. In fact, Tang has devoted his career to expanding the use of automated machines to carry out agricultural work. The technology, some of which would seem at home in the pages of a science fiction novel, …Continue reading “Change Agent: Lie Tang”

Robotic Weeders

A new line of thinking in weed control – small, nimble, and sustainable – is gaining traction. The robotic mechanical intra-row weeder project is being proposed by Iowa State University (ISU) agricultural and biosystems engineering professors Brian Steward and Lie Tang. Originally funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Marketing and Food System Initiative …Continue reading “Robotic Weeders”

CoE faculty honored by Plant Sciences Institute

Five engineering researchers selected as PSI Faculty Scholars The Plant Sciences Institute (PSI) has awarded funding to investigators in three colleges in an effort to stimulate high-risk, high-reward research in the plant sciences. The awards are part of the Plant Sciences Institute’s Faculty Scholars program. The new initiative was spearheaded by PSI director Patrick Schnable …Continue reading “CoE faculty honored by Plant Sciences Institute”

Working the land and the data

An article in the Nov. 30 issue of The New York Times details how farmers are working not only the land, but also the data. For some farmers, technology offers a lifeline, a way to navigate the boom-and-bust cycles of making a living from the land. The article mentions Lie Tang, agricultural and biosystems engineering, …Continue reading “Working the land and the data”

Iowa State University researchers turn to robotics to improve understanding of plant growth

Iowa State University faculty members are developing a new facility that will utilize a specially designed robot to gather unprecedented amounts of data on the growth of plants under different environmental conditions. The project was funded recently by a $929,773 grant from the National Science Foundation. ISU personnel plan to have a prototype of the …Continue reading “Iowa State University researchers turn to robotics to improve understanding of plant growth”