Published: 22nd January 2020
These Bhubaneswar school students created an IoT stick for farmers to detect bacteria in crops
International Robotronics Competition (IRC) League is the brainchild of Avishkaar, a company that creates products and experiences which boost innovation in students
Did you know that 80 per cent of the time, the reason behind crop failure is bacterial attack? And by the time the farmer realises this and sends the leaf samples to the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in Mumbai (which, once upon a time, was the only organisation that used to analyse leaves), and they get back with the correct analysis, it is too late. Rishikesh Amit Nayak had seen his own grandfather, who was a farmer, dejected by such circumstances. So, of course, he had to do something. "My father is a professor and he is the one who encouraged me to learn programming in class VI," says the 16-year-old, talking about his positive influences. And before you ask what this farming problems has to do with programming, let us tell you about the device Rishikesh ideated.
IRC League is the brainchild of Avishkaar, a company that creates products and experiences which boost innovation in students
Called Kishan Know, the device is a simple IoT stick with a thermal camera at the end. All the farmer has to do is move around his crops with this stick in hand twice a day. The images taken by the camera are then sent to a database that converts the images into digital values to calculate the temperature. When this exercise is repeated by the farmer after 12 hours, the digital values of both sets of photographs are compared and depending on the range, the kind of bacteria affecting the crop is detected. "Not just bacteria, it can detect fungi, viruses and so on as well," he informs. This information is communicated to the farmers through their mobile phones. "This helps the farmer take quick and exact action," he explains.
Impressed? Well, so were the folks at Asia's largest robotics competitions, IRC League, conducted by Avishkaar recently in New Delhi. Inquisitives (the Avishkaar Makeathon site has the name as The Inquisitive), the name Rishikesh's team went by, were announced the winners of the Avishkaar Makeathon (one of the events at the IRC League) in the senior category. "There were so many other amazing models that we had the chance to witness, it was very interesting," says the student from DAV Public School, Chandrasekharpur. Talking more about the device itself. the class XI student says that this device is as simple as it can get and was intentionally made that way for farmers. The cost of the stick is `2,200 and, "all the farmer really needs to do is switch it on and roam around in his field with it," he explains. The camera covers a 30 centimetre-radius.
Team Inquisitives | (Pic: Avishkaar)
Their database is also worth a mention. All the thermal images that are captured are converted to digital values and sent to their database. It is here that the Artificial Intelligence-programmed database begins comparison between the images and produces the results. The stick also has GSM which helps transport the information to the farmer's phone. "The intention has always been to solve a social problem," says Rishikesh and he is glad that he and his team were able to do something in this direction.
Other accolades they have won:
- ATAL Student Innovator Award
- They were selected for the state-level National Children's Congress
- First in the ISRO Innovation Challenge
- Winners of the CBSE Science Fair regionals and selected for the nationals