Published: 01st December 2020
This is the story of how a 14-year-old from Hyderabad won one of the most competitive robotic competitions
Ashrith Edukulla wants people to start growing their own food as hassle-free as possible. And Auto Farm, the agro-robot that he designed and made from scratch, can help them with this. Check it out
How would we know the plight of those who go to sleep on an empty stomach, wake up with raging hunger and yet, don't have a morsel to eat? When Ashrith Edukulla was looking for a problem statement that he could present a solution for at the International Youth Robot Competition (IYRC), the aforementioned statement is what he zeroed in on. Last year, Ashrith and his team won the second spot in the senior's category of the same competition held in South Korea. This time, he flew solo and proving his own mettle, he won first place in the IYRC for Robot Creation in the senior category. All thanks to his innovation Auto Farm.
Ashrith with Auto Farm| (Pic: Ashrith Edukulla)
Auto Farm can plough, sow the seeds, control the release of water and offer artificial light that promotes faster plant growth. "This is an ideal solution for those who don't have access to outdoor spaces to grow plants or don't have access to natural sunlight because they live in congested spaces," says the class IX student of FIITJEE World School. Sensors like soil moisture sensors and motor pumps help control water output. The automatic ploughing machine does a uniform and consistent job whereas the servo motor is used to drop seeds. Think of it as a fully automated and affordable agricultural robot.
While chilies were not growing as expected, he had success with fenugreek
Since the robot required both software and hardware skills, Ashrith was required to exercise them both. He learnt robotics from Leap Robotics, a platform to learn about robotics and other new-age technology. "My teacher (and CEO of Leap Robots) Satyanarayana M encouraged me to participate in the competition and helped me too," says the youngster who was born in Georgia, USA and is now based out of Hyderabad. While the software was relatively easy to finish, assembling the hardware, especially procuring the different parts like motherboards, motors, sensors, water pumps and so on, took time. So after three to four days of ideating, he took roughly more than a week to complete Auto Farm and showcase it on September 5 and 6, when the competition was held online.
The 14-year-old is happy to have won the competition but he knows that he has a long way to go. Hence, he will be shifting his focus to academics completely as he enters class X and he will start preparing for competitive exams. His next stop? Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, he hopes.
Pros of Auto Farm
- Reduces the cost of production
- Minimal dependency on labour
- Increases productivity