Rising Stars 2020:

Zerina Kapetanovic

PhD Candidate

University of Washington

Areas of Interest

  • Information, Data, Network, and Communication Sciences


FarmBeats: An IoT Platform for Data-Driven Agriculture


The global demand for food production is expected to increase by 70% by the year 2050. Achieving this increase in food production is becoming extremely challenging as the resources we rely on are starting to diminish. Water levels are receding, the amount of arable land is decreasing, and climate change has become more imminent. Data-driven agriculture techniques can help solve the world’s food problem by reducing waste in resources, increasing yield, and enabling sustainable farming practices. While the efficacy of data-driven agriculture has been demonstrated, these techniques are sparsely adopted in today’s farming practices due to the expensive cost of data collection and challenging environment of typical farming locations.

FarmBeats is an AI and IoT platform that helps solve these challenges and provides seamless data collection to enable precision agriculture techniques. FarmBeats uses ground sensors and drones to provide actional insights for farmers Moreover, it solves the challenge of enabling reliable Internet connectivity for farms by using TV White Spaces and a system design that is robust towards harsh weather and power outages. The FarmBeats system has been deployed on farms worldwide to enable solutions such as storage monitoring and precision sensor maps of crop fields. We have demonstrated that with FarmBeats data-driven techniques can be enabled, such as precision spraying, resulting in reduced spraying of chemicals by 90% and providing cost savings of 15% for particular farming scenarios.


Zerina Kapetanovic is PhD Candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Washington. She works in the Sensor Systems lab, advised by Professor Joshua Smith. He research is focused on developing low-power sensing and wireless communication techniques to enable and deploy new applications in wide range of fields, such as agriculture. She recently received the Microsoft Research Dissertation grant for her proposal titled, "Low-power Communication for Environmental Sensing Systems".

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