1. Farm Mechanization

IIT-Madras Invents ‘Smart Agricopter’ to Remove Manual Spraying of Pesticides

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

A ‘smart agricopter’ has been developed by the students of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras to eradicate manual spraying of pesticides in agricultural fields and help recognize crop health through an imaging camera.

The new innovation will allow spraying pesticides 10 times faster and with 100% precision at the same price as manual spraying.

The Centre for Innovation, IIT Madras students found manual pesticide spraying as a dangerous activity that puts the farmers and labourers health at risk and also results in a massive overuse of toxic chemicals.

Group of three students then planned to design a technological solution that would remove the need for cultivators to come in contact with pesticides and cleverly identify which crops on their farm need pesticides and which do not.

The advanced multispectral imaging camera lets the hexacopter drone create smart maps of farmland based on crop health and it’s fully autonomous pesticide refilling system ensures whole spraying is completely autonomous.

Rishabh Verma, aerospace engineering student said that “Agriculture is the backbone of our country & there is a desperate need to upgrade the backbone. We are automating a multi-billion dollar manual pesticide spraying industry using cutting edge drone technology”.

The students have also filed a patent for the agricopter whose price is estimated to be around Rs.  5.1 lakh.

What really makes agricopter apart from existing products is the multispectral imaging camera that offers smart analysis of crop health & ensures that the entire spraying process is totally autonomous and that the cultivator is never exposed to the pesticide.

Another aerospace engineering student, Kavi Kailash said, “The current version of Project Smart Agricopter is a hexacopter drone that has the capacity to hold 15 liters of pesticide. Agricopter aims to spray pesticides 10 times faster & with 100% precision at the same cost as manual spraying”.

In addition, the group has also received a Rs. 10 lakh worth equity-less funding after their product won the Indian Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP 2.0) University Challenge held at IIT Bombay in June.

Akash Anand, an engineering design student said, “Our current challenge is to finish the construction of their alpha prototype & work towards testing the efficiency of their product on farms all over the country”.

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