A Bangalore-based techie has developed an indigenous robotic model that can take care of pesticide spraying operations for agricultural and horticultural crops.
The model, which is on display at the ongoing International Krishi Mela, organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, does the spraying at the press of a button.
Naganand, assistant professor at the Electronics Hardware Division of the M.S. Ramaiah School of Advanced Studies, who developed the model, told The Hindu that it could be managed by remote control from a distance of four kilometres.
This model, which resembles a rectangular platform with wheels, is versatile as the height of the sprayer can be adjusted. “It has a memory chip to programme movement. The aim is to prevent the farmer from coming in direct contact with chemical pesticides. Also, it helps tide over labour problems and saves money,” he said.
Contrary to the perception that robotic models are costly, Mr. Naganand spent only Rs. 15,000 on developing this model. “It should be possible to provide this equipment at Rs. 10,000 if it is mass produced,” he said, adding that it is possible to further reduce the cost if the distance from which the remote could be operated is reduced.
“My ultimate goal is to develop a multi-functional robot that takes care of all the farm operations,” said Mr. Naganand, who hails from a farming family. He is in correspondence with all the agricultural universities in the State, including the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore for a research collaboration to develop the multi-functional robot.
As a prelude to developing such a robot, he is in the process of developing another robotic device that identifies colours. “The idea is to use this device to harvest ripened (red-coloured) tomatoes,” he said.