Melissa Brandao, a former Apple engineer, wanted to find ways to give back to her rural agricultural community in southern Oregon. Rather than traditional farming, though, she began designing robots to provide farmers with extra sets of eyes, ears and wheels out in the field.
Brandao developed such breakthrough innovations as the first autonomous ATV for hauling loads and navigating narrow rows between tightly planted crops. Most recently, she created the HerdDogg system of smart wearable devices for cattle management, which was first piloted with the Dairy Farmers of America. Today, more than 50 farmers nationwide use these tools to monitor and improve the health of their herds. Read more