Students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed a “smart agricopter” to eliminate manual spraying of pesticides in agricultural fields and help identify crop health by using an imaging camera. The innovation will allow spraying pesticides ten times faster and with 100% precision at the same cost as manual spraying.
The team has received Rs 10 lakh of equity-less funding. It began as a startup in IIT-M’s Bootcamp at the E-Summit and finished runners-up, winning Rs 30,000 from the E-Cell. In the next 10 months, the team would have to build an alpha prototype. If the product is satisfactory, the students will receive an additional Rs 25 lakh, according to the team’s leader Mr Verma, The Hindu reported.
“The drone will work well on crops 1-1.5 m tall. Our target is to ensure that droplets from the spring system installed in the drone reach every part of the crop. For that purpose, crops like paddy, wheat and cotton are ideal,” he said.
What really sets agricopter apart from existing products is the multispectral imaging camera which provides smart analysis of crop health and ensures that the entire spraying process is completely autonomous and that the farmer is never exposed to the pesticide.