Device can detect plant diseases using camera and image analysis and cure it by spraying pesticide
Robots can now help identify and track diseases plaguing vegetation and treat them too.
A robotic system designed by IIT Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) is capable of detecting plant diseases through camera-captured image analysis and spray pesticide on the affected areas. The robotic system consists of a tracked vehicle suitable for negotiating rough terrain field, a device mounted on the tracked vehicle that can hold the camera and pesticide spraying nozzle, a pesticide spraying module, and camera-based vision module, an institute spokesperson said.
Prof D.K. Pratihar of the institute’s mechanical engineering department has led the project. “Our device can detect plant diseases using camera and image analysis and consequently remove it. This will help farmers accurately detect disease in plants. Also, use of such a device instead of manual operation of spraying pesticide will protect the farmers from related probable health hazards,” Pratihar said.
The robotic system is battery-driven and, once fully charged, it will be able to perform in the field for about two hours.
Talking about the potential of such technologies, IIT Kharagpur director, Prof V.K. Tewari, an expert in farm machinery design and precision agriculture, said, “The government is giving a major boost to innovative rural livelihood technologies. Such technologies need to be taken from the lab to the land.”
The device has been designed by a Mumbai-based company Sun Fab Industries Pvt Limited, in collaboration with TECHNIDO.
The robot will be operated remotely using buttons placed on the remote panel. Once the functions of the buttons are known, a farmer can operate it by himself and would not require a specialist technician.
“We will soon resume the final assembly of the robotic system and field testing as we are recovering from the COVID situation. We plan to make this robot intelligent in future,” Pratihar said.
The system has been designed under the project “Development of autonomous multipurpose agricultural robotic platform” funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and run by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Kolkata, along with IIT Kharagpur, BAU Ranchi and KCT Coimbatore.
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