Published: 18th January 2022
These Bengaluru students have the right solution to ensure that crops aren't over-irrigated
The duo has created a programme that aims to save water by automating the process of watering plants based on the moisture content of the soil, thereby avoiding overwatering
How many times have you had a plant die because you forgot to water it or, worse, watered it a little too much? That will, in all probability, not happen, especially to farmers and others who cultivate plants in large areas, thanks to an innovation by two Bengaluru students Samrudh Yash and Pavan Kumar J.
The duo has created a programme that aims to save water by automating the process of watering plants and lawns based on the moisture content of the soil, thereby avoiding overwatering by existing sprinkler systems. For this, they recently won the Red Bull Basement India 2021 competition and are preparing to go to the finals in Istanbul, Turkey — which was supposed to be from December 12 to 16 but has been postponed to 2022 in the light of the current situation — and make the prototype.
Over an email, Pavan tells us that the idea — that they've named Volnix — hit him when he constantly forgot to water his plants. "So we thought of an innovation to solve this issue. We saw so much automation in many fields so we decided to automate the watering process also," says Pavan, who is currently pursuing BTech in Cyber Security at Presidency University, Bengaluru, along with Samrudh. "Our project automatically waters the plant when it requires water. It also saves water from being wasted," he adds. It took them 35 days to come up with the model.
Samrudh, on the other hand, says that for him, the idea came from the fact that per capita availability of water in India has fallen by 15 per cent. "I felt that making something that helps solve this will be useful for society," he says, adding, "There are moisture sensors that are placed in the soil and when the water level drops below a threshold level, then it sends a signal to the device that turns on the pump, which runs until the moisture content rises to the required level. All of this can be monitored on a website or an app from any part of the world," he says.
The students say that the product Volnix can also be used on large farms. "Based on the size of the land where it is implemented, we will increase the number of sensors required while considering the soil water holding capacity and required moisture content of the soil," says Pavan. Samrudh adds that it will use only the required amount of water, making sure that it doesn't excessively use ground water, allowing it to replenish.