Spraying of pesticides in crops is a very common practice. Usually when spraying is done a solution is prepared with the chemicals suspended in water. This mixture is applied or sprayed in the form of a fine mist to the soil and plants.
Sprays are usually used to controls the pests and insects and other fungal and bacterial disease a plant may have. Sometimes sprays are also used for special purposes like for the application of fertilizers, extending the dropping of the mature fruit, decreasing or increasing the fruit and defoliating to help in the healthy harvest of plants like potatoes.
However, a more effective method of spraying is the need of the hour. Since spraying is done manually it requires manpower, time and energy for the same. Also, this method of spraying is hazardous as it exposes the farmers and labourers to toxic chemicals over a period of time.
To reduce this exposure of chemicals, the students of IIT -Madras have come up with an innovation of a smart drone. They have named it ‘Smart Agricopter’, and this cuts down on the manual spraying of pesticides, thereby, also reducing the risk of exposure and saving time. The drone also helps in identifying the health of the crops with the use of an imaging camera. Also, the spraying of the pesticides will be ten times faster as compared to manual spraying. This will be 100% accurate and is cost-effective as well.
The drone designed by a team of three young minds makes use of a multispectral imaging camera which helps the drone to analyse the farm so that maps can be made. This particular activity gives an exact outline of the healthy crop. The hexacopter drone is also fitted with an independent refilling system which does not rely on others for help when it comes to spraying.
The young team believes that agriculture is a very important aspect of our country and it needs an instant upgrade to help the farmers. The spraying industry is worth a multi-billion dollar and the team is just trying to automate it with the introduction of leading-edge drone technology. The team has also filed for a patent for ‘Agricopter’ and its cost is estimated to be around ₹ 5.1 lakh.
How is Agricopter Different from the Other Drone
The agricopter is installed with a multispectral imaging camera. This special feature makes it different from other products. The camera helps in an analysis of the farm by taking into consideration the healthy crop. Also, the complete spraying method is automated and the farmers are not exposed to wee bit chemicals also. The version which has been developed currently comes with a capacity of spraying 15 litres of pesticide.
The Project Smart Agricopter received a ₹ 10 lakh equity-less funding after a win at the Indian Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP 2.0) University Challenge, hosted by the IIT Bombay in June.
These young minds have definitely realised that agriculture is an important asset to our country. They identified that if the farmers are not exposed to the chemicals and their cost and time are reduced, they would be able to work efficiently. This, in turn, would fill the granaries of our country.
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