New Innovation Zone at Newport Show to showcase how agriculture is moving forward

It’s not what you normally expect at an agricultural show, but artificial intelligence and robotics will be an exciting new feature at this year’s Newport Show.

Lucy Platt, Parmjit Chima, Sally Western and Jonathan Gill
Lucy Platt, Parmjit Chima, Sally Western and Jonathan Gill

For the first time the popular show, at Chetwynd Deer Park on July 13, will have a Harper Adams University Innovation Zone which aims to showcase how agriculture is moving forward.

The futuristic zone will be packed with displays about how robots are helping the farming industry, new technology in agriculture and interactive activities for visitors to enjoy.

President of the show Jo Ford said he is delighted to welcome this addition.

“To have this new feature in partnership with Harper Adams University is a huge coup for our show,” he said.

“It will be a fascinating insight into an area of agriculture that I am sure many of our visitors will be eager to understand, see in action and have a go themselves.

“The zone will feature the latest in farming and engineering technology and visitors can try their hand at flying a drone, learn about autonomous vehicles in agriculture and see if you can get the highest score on our Weedzapper app.”

Visitors will have the chance to control a robotic digger with an Xbox controller to scoop as many beads into a bucket in one scoop as possible and try out the Laser Weed App, which spots weeds in soil.

There will also be ROSbot, a robot with a 360° LIDAR detector. It emits small beams of light to detect distance and can measure the acceleration and angle of travel.

AirPOD, the latest hi-tech kit in automation, sensing and navigation, is a flying delivery system which will also be on display.

The innovation zone will also feature mini drones, a robotic arm and Eric and Norman – two intelligent robots which can perform various tasks such as driving around to feed and weed a crop in a field.

Sarah Swinnerton, Shows and Events lead at Harper Adams University, said: “As our closest agricultural show, we have been involved with Newport Show for many years and have a close working relationship with the organisers.

“We are delighted to be launching the Harper Adams University Innovation Zone at this year’s show. Both the university and Newport Show are dedicated to the future of agriculture, so when we were approached by them it felt like a natural fit for us.

“The Innovation Zone will be a perfect platform to share Harper’s world leading credentials in agri-tech through projects such as Hands Free Hectare and the drone based delivery system, AirPOd.”

Parmjit Chima, Head of Engineering at Harper Adams University, added: “This is a unique collaboration.

“The fourth agriculture and industrial revolution is already here, and the university is developing innovative solutions to support Agri-food production both on a national and global level.

“The Innovation Zone will provide a great opportunity to immerse yourself in technologies, such as artificial intelligence, drones, autonomous machines and robots of all types.

Newport Show will feature entertainment for all the family including displays by Bolddog Lings freestyle motocross display team and the Mountain Bike Aerial Display (M.A.D.) team, as well as Joseph’s Amazing Camels, hundreds of trade stands and 140 cattle and sheep classes, livestock, horses and dogs – including qualifying events for both the Horse of the Year Show and Crufts.

Visitors can also enjoy vintage vehicle and machinery displays, an antique and country living marquee, handicraft and horticulture competitions and theFestival of Food, showcasing the best of regional food and drink.

Furthermore, in the early evening a festival atmosphere will be created with live music from local bands.

Tickets can be bought online at www.newportshow.co.uk or reduced price late entry tickets can be purchased at the pedestrian gate from 4pm.

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