The winner of last month's Intel India Embedded Challenge was the solar powered crop harvesting robot pictured above. A better shot of the robot itself can be found in The Hindu. The winning entry was developed by T J David and Kudikala Shravan Kumar of the International Institute of Information Technology in Hyderabad, India. The robot requires just 500 Watts of power, which can be supplied by on-board solar panels or from the grid. It can be adjusted to harvest a variety of crop types at 80% less cost than conventional harvesting machines. An Indian Tech Online article provides this description of the robot:
The invented machine comprises a lightweight metal chassis, having a low friction cutter bar with a dual edge cutting blade, without requiring a pressure plate to minimise energy losses. The self-balancing cutter bar remains suspended on the ground without requiring manual balancing of the machine, as compared to conventional systems. The machine can manoeuvre in all kinds of farm field terrains, whether wet or dry. It has a two wheeled drive mechanism that can revolve 360° in either direction.
It's also worth noting that the robot relies on an Intel Atom processor. Intel has posted more photos and a look at the other IEC winners the Intel India Embedded Challenge 2011 Summary (PDF format)