HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Valencia, Spain or Virtually from your home or work.
AGRI 2023

Gregory Ofili

Gregory Ofili, Speaker at Horticulture Conferences
XENN Robotics, Inc., United States
Title : A method of manufacturing low cost industrial robots and electric vehicles


Introduction & Objective

Climate change, product and labour competition, have forced the smallhold farmer to embrace automation to boost productivity and yields.  Automation in the 2020’s requires reliable transportation, electricity, and internet, all of which are limited on a smallhold farm.  Key barriers include: lack of transportation, electricity, and internet service, coupled with costly enabling technologies, and limited local subject matter expertise. 

Methodology / Approach

Resourcefulness is essential to mechanization on a farm.  This runs contrary to the tech industry practice of planned obsolescence and disposal.  One solution is: plug and play hardware that allow the farmer to assemble, repair, program, and service their own fleet of industrial machines.  To that end, we  developed a method of manufacturing low cost utility robots, transport vehicles, and solar/wind energy harvesting systems, all running on an open source Robot Operating System (ROS).  We demonstrate this technology by fabricating a utility robot, and an all terrain (4X4) utility vehicle.  Constructed of aluminum trusses, and weighing just 40 pounds, yet capable of transporting 200 pounds of cargo, on sale for less than $2,000.

Conclusions & Policy Implications

Electricity, internet, and automation are essential for productivity and competitiveness.  With planned obsolescence, the priorities of technology suppliers are not aligned with the farmer’s realities.  This patent pending method of manufacturing low cost industrial robots and electric vehicles, has met its objective.  To create low cost machines the farmer can assemble, program, and repair, with basic hand tools.

Keywords: automation, robotics, utility robot, smallhold farm, Robot Operating System

What will the audience learn from your presentation?

  • The audience will gain a better understanding of the barriers faced by smallhold farmers. 
  • The audience will learn of a novel technology for manufacturing robots and utility vehicles.
  • This technology can be used as a hands on teaching tool in robotics and automation.
  • We demonstrate the method and its derivatives by creating utility robots and vehicles:


Gregory Ofili studied Mechanical Engineering at The University of Kansas, USA, and graduated BS in 1993. He also studied Business Administration at San Jose State University, California, USA, and graduated MBA in 2003. His career includes roles in tech companies such as Cisco Systems and Intel. As an entrepreneur, he founded telecom companies and in 2009, he won a $2M grant from USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). He began experimenting with clean energy generation systems in 2008, leading to the development of: ‘A Method of Manufacturing Robots and Industrial Machinery’, Patent Pending.

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