Plant sciences artificial intelligence startup sets sights on solving global food production challenges by scaling agtech platform with Akamai edge computing and security capabilities
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the cloud company that powers and protects life online, today announced that Bloomfield Robotics is the winner of its Future of Life Online Challenge, clinching an award of USD $1 million in Akamai products and services. Bloomfield is addressing the challenges of growing high-quality crops in the face of rising environmental pressures, demographic shifts, production costs and supply chain issues. Using a combination of artificial intelligence and custom imaging hardware, Bloomfield makes it easier for farmers and produce companies to understand the health and performance of every plant by automating crop inspection and analysis.
Akamai today also debuted the Future of Life Online Challenge video docuseries hosted by two-time Emmy Award-winning talk show host Mario Armstrong. Available at akamai.com/lifeonline, the four-part series follows Bloomfield and co-finalists Cooler Screens and Ennoventure through the pitching and judging processes, culminating with the Bloomfield team’s high-energy welcome to Akamai headquarters as the newly minted winners of the challenge.
Caption: The Bloomfield Robotics camera system can be mounted on farm vehicles and is designed to collect precise images of plants in any agricultural environment. Images feed crop-specific AI methods to generate a health and performance assessment of each plant and crop.
Launched last fall, the Akamai Future of Life Online Challenge is an opportunity to celebrate and reward “the visionaries, the rebels, and the insanely curious innovators” shaping breakthrough digital experiences that make life better. The rigorous submission process included “Shark Tank”-style live pitches before a panel of judges from the Akamai global leadership team. Applicants had to demonstrate how their innovative products or services could viably scale to make a positive impact on the world with the benefit of Akamai security, delivery, and compute solutions.
“Winning the Akamai Future of Life Online Challenge gives Bloomfield access to world-class technology and expertise that will immediately help us scale and better secure our business,” said Mark DeSantis, CEO, Bloomfield Robotics. “It also affords us leeway to experiment with new capabilities and resources in ways that many companies at this stage simply don’t have the luxury of doing. Bloomfield is honored to win the challenge and we’re even more excited to work with Akamai to help improve crop performance from seed to harvest.”
Bloomfield can use Akamai compute solutions to build its systems faster, accelerate time to deployment, and more quickly return data to farmers. The valuable data, along with customer information and its own internal functions, can be better secured with Akamai security offerings. Bloomfield intends to explore numerous Akamai capabilities, including:
- Edge Compute Services: The Akamai edge platform can assist with pre-processing and delivering large volumes of data from farm to data center significantly faster than before. With more than 360,000 Akamai edge servers deployed globally, Bloomfield will have a decidedly more robust network to get farmers closer to real-time insights.
- Security: As Bloomfield grows, security will become an even more essential piece to protect its business, customers, and high-value data. The company intends to explore how Akamai cybersecurity solutions can better protect and secure its data from inception to analysis to storage.
- Cloud Computing: Bloomfield intends to evaluate how its existing cloud compute systems can work with new capabilities from Akamai and Linode to train front- and back-end data to move quickly and seamlessly together.
“Bloomfield is at the bleeding edge of crop digitization, an exciting convergence of big data and artificial intelligence,” said Kim Salem-Jackson, chief marketing officer, Akamai and one of the challenge judges. “Among so many extraordinary submissions for the $1 million Future of Life Online Challenge, Bloomfield stood out as a company with values and aspirations that aligned directly with Akamai’s purpose to make life better for billions of people billions of times a day. Bloomfield represents the best of the entrepreneurial spirit and Akamai couldn’t be more excited to help the company grow and fuel positive change in helping deliver better food to consumer tables around the world.”
For additional information about Bloomfield Robotics, visit bloomfield.ai.
Akamai powers and protects life online. Leading companies worldwide choose Akamai to build, deliver, and secure their digital experiences — helping billions of people live, work, and play every day. With the world’s most distributed compute platform — from cloud to edge — we make it easy for customers to develop and run applications, while we keep experiences closer to users and threats farther away. Learn more about Akamai’s security, compute, and delivery solutions at akamai.com and akamai.com/blog, or follow Akamai Technologies on Twitter and LinkedIn.