Nagendran Rajendran, Udumalpet India
The idea of applying Robotics in agriculture is very new. The main area of application of robots in agriculture is at the cultivation stage. The agricultural industry is behind other industries in using robots because the sort of jobs involved in agriculture are not straight forward and many repetitive tasks are not exactly the same every time. In most cases, a lot of factors have to be considered (i.e.: Environmental conditions and nature of crop) before the commencement of a task.
AGROBOT is an autonomous robot which runs on solar energy. It is a 4 wheeled unmanned vehicle which can move in any direction without destroying the crops. All the units (Seed sowing device, Sprayer, Weed Remover, Pest controlling) work independently. The robot employs vision systems and a range of sensors to guide the robot along the rows and perform the task accurately. The robot can be operated in two modes (Automatic mode & Manual mode). The AGROBOT system is split into two: A Robot that will establish, care for, survey and harvest the crops according to conventional as well as latest specifications. IT-Systems for central planning and follow-up on crop related tasks that can be used for coordination and optimization between manned and unmanned vehicles. EXISTING TECHNOLOGY Vs AGROBOT At present technology there are many machines for agriculture. There are separate machines for seed sowing, fertilizer Spraying (Liquid and salt form), Ploughing, Harvesting which can be driven by a tractor. But the cost of these machines is very high which cannot be afforded by a normal farmer. Now farmers are using only tractors with rotawators for ploughing. Seed sowing, Fertilizer spraying, Weed removing is done manually. Also skilled manpower is required. In many places there is a severe manpower shortage also. Our robot can perform most of the agricultural tasks. AGROBOT can perform tasks like seed sowing, fertilizer spraying (Liquid form) and weed removing, pest controlling, cattle grazing. The main advantage of AGROBOT is, it is operated in two modes (i.e. Automatic mode and Manual mode). Manpower can be reduced. When commercially manufactured the cost will be very low and can be afforded by all farmers.
This technology can be implemented by all agricultural machinery manufacturers. This will lead to new way of agriculture and also cost of cultivation can be reduced drastically and thereby reducing the cost of food items. When commercially manufactured the cost will be very low and can be afforded by all farmers. Manual work is eliminated Manpower can be reduced Cost of production can be decreased