IIT Kharagpur Designs Robotic System To Identify Plants’ Diseases

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Kolkata: Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) has designed a robotic system with the capability of identifying the diseases plaguing plants via camera-captured image analysis.

A tracked vehicle suitable for negotiating rough terrain field, a device mounted on the tracked vehicle capable of holding the camera and pesticide spraying nozzle, a pesticide spraying module, and camera-based vision module are all that complete the entire robotic system, institute spokesperson said on Thursday.

Project leader Prof DK Pratihar from the Department of Mechanical Engineering said, “Our device can detect the plant diseases using camera and image analysis and consequently remove it.” He said this will help the farmers detect the disease accurately in their plants, according to Hindustan Times.

This use of device instead of manual operation of spraying pesticide will shield the farmers from related probable health hazards, Pratihar said. The device has been fabricated by a Mumbai-based company.

IIT Kharagpur Director Prof VK Tewari, an expert in farm machinery design and precision agriculture, also talked about the potential of such technologies. “The government is giving a major boost to innovative rural livelihood technologies. Such technologies need to be taken from the lab to the land,” Prof Tewari said.

This is a battery-driven robotic system. Once fully charged, it will be able to perform its duty in the field for about two hours.

The robot is operated remotely using buttons placed on a control panel and thus, a specialist technician may not be required for operating the robot in the field, HT reported.

“We will soon resume the final assembly of the robotic system and field testing as we are recovering from the present COVID-situation. We have further plans in the future to make this robot intelligent,” Prof Pratihar was quoted by the daily.

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