Solar robo-harvester wins Intel accolade

The harvester, which uses considerably less power than the conventional models would be sold at a cheaper price. The device would cost Rs 50,000, far cheaper than the Rs 25 lakh price of the conventional equipment. Consuming just 500 watts of power, it requires nearly 10 times less power.

 T J David, who shared the prize with Kudikala Shravan Kumar, said the energy efficient harvester had been patented in 1988 but had to wait for nearly 23 years to become fully automatic.

“This is largely due to advancements in embedded technology. When I first conceived this, it was made as paddle-powered one, but now with embedded technology it is possible to control the motor and also make it entirely solar powered,” he said, speaking to mediapersons.

Seven categories

Apart from the grand prize, winners were presented Rs 50,000 each in seven different categories.

“Portable electronic nose for the tea industry” from C-DAC Kolkata, “Embedded eyes for the blind” from IIT Kanpur, “Smart arm” from Tapar University are amongst the winners in different categories on which prototypes were made.

31 finalists

The 31 finalists were shortlisted from the initial 1,600 entries, and were mentored by Intel engineers to create the prototypes. The winners will get an opportunity to take part in the “Next Big Idea,” a presentation forum, hosted by Intel, along with Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) to be held in November in Bangalore. The prize carries a purse of Rs 10 lakh.

“This is an attempt to connect the innovators with the venture capital and angel investors,” said Ashutosh Chadha, Director, Intel India and South Asia. He added that the prototypes would be offered to various organisations as referral designs for further improvement and commercialisation.

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