The Silicon Review
Billions of devices today are connecting people to machines via the internet, forming what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). These IoT devices use the same kinds of data formats and communication protocols as used everywhere on the internet. This has also helped the agriculture industry as this space is increasingly seeing the adoption of the technology. Seattle-headquartered Koidra is using AI to complement IoT technologies to transform agriculture.
IoT hardware helps growers collect raw data from greenhouses more easily. And AI software helps growers make sense of — and act upon — that data to improve crop production. The idea is simple and yet, potent. And this what Koidra uses to deliver quality results for its clients.
Based out of Seattle, Koidra is a unique startup that leverages the combined power of IoT and AI. The company's mission is to empower manufacturing businesses to make data-driven and better real-time control decisions. The company's IoT platform for farms is enabling growers to be more precise and efficient.
Having seen a lot of success as the Principal Applied Scientist in the Machine Learning Group, Microsoft Research (MSR), Kenneth Tran the founder and CEO of Koidra, saw a lot of potential in leveraging AIoT (AI meets IoT) in crop management for increased food supply and security. He then founded Koidra to push the technology further, making it available to commercial farms. In a world in which critical resources — water and energy, and skilled labor — are becoming more scarce, it's vital to leverage AI and IoT to empower growers, to make better decisions, to achieve more with less resources, to grow the world's food more sustainably for the present and future generations.
In many business control problems, it can be challenging to know what to do next. Koidra focuses on applying practical machine-learning research to help people make decisions with ease and confidence. The company promotes collaboration between AI and the people that use it. And this process is transparent, which helps people trust it to support them as they face and solve the challenges ahead of them.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is indispensable for ensuring the competitiveness of manufacturing companies. IoT enables manufacturing operations to be more precise and more efficient. Koidra's IoT Suite is an Industrial platform for greenhouses and for real-time data-driven manufacturing broadly. The Koidra IoT Suite includes the IoT Core with the following components:
To transform agriculture, Koidra’s λuto Grower solution is built on top of its IoT Suite platform, which can sense the plant’s needs and responses and hence optimize the inside climate to optimize plants’ growth and production capacity. Its brain is a principled mix of cutting-edge research in multiple disciplines spanning AIoT, machine learning, climate modeling, and crop science.
Recently, Koidra announced its partnership with Great Lakes Greenhouses (GLG) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Harrow Research Center. Through this partnership, Koidra will help GLG deploy its AI-powered autonomous growing technology that will enhance environmental sustainability, accelerate the transition to year-round production, support crop diversification and improve the long-term resiliency and competitiveness of the sector. The technology will allow greenhouse operators to remotely grow cucumbers and eggplant crops, reducing in-person contact and allowing them to manage more sites remotely. The project is funded by the Ontario government for an amount of $547,720.
Kenneth Tran, Founder and CEO: Before Koidra, Kenneth was a Principal Applied Scientist in the Machine Learning Group, Microsoft Research (MSR). While at MSR, he led the Sonoma team, winning the first autonomous greenhouse challenge (2018), becoming the only AI team that outperformed expert Dutch growers. Ken's research expertise and experience include Reinforcement Learning, Deep Learning, Optimization, and Distributed Computing. He was also known as a co-founder and lead mentor of the internal Microsoft AI School.
Kenneth received his Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012.