M'lorean develops remote control power tiller

'No testing institutes have testing guidelines for this prototype'

M'lorean develops remote control power tiller

In an innovation that could be a boon to paddy cultivators, provided, the government extends its support, a youth from Surathkal has developed a remote control operated power tiller that would not only save tilling time of farmers, but also would make farming work a lot easier.

Prajwal Kumar, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Mangalore Robautonics Pvt Ltd, is the brain behind this innovation and has received National Award for Commercialisable Patents 2013-14 confered by the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), a wing of the Department of Science and Technology. Prajwal started working on the power tiller project as a weekend project out of his personal interest way back in 2005, when he was working as a hardware engineer in a company in Bangalore. 

The prototype was then developed and was tested in various paddy growing fields in Jabhalpur in Odisha, Krishnagiri and Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, Shimoga, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts in Karnataka. On gaining patent, Prajwal developed 50 remote control based power tiller kits for VST Shakti, at his small factory in Kuloor, which were sold to farmers from different regions and received positive feedback.

Speaking to reporters, at a briefing session co-ordinated by the Department of Information and Publicity on Wednesday, Prajwal said that the remote controlled system will address the problem of shortage of labourers and skilled operator to handle power tillers. The remote controlled system which is an electronic combined mechanical gadget attached to power tillers, has two units, namely, a hand held remote unit and a controller unit which is attached to the tiller along with a compact air compressor.

The easy to operate remote control system, enables the power tiller to move in right and left direction and stops when the brakes are applied. The power tiller functions within 100 metres radius of the location from where remote control is operated. The hand held rechargeable batteries run up to 10 hours. The system saves diesel as well as the tilling time, he said.

Awaits govt subsidy

Speaking about the manufacturing cost, Prajwal said that the remote control unit costs anywhere between Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000 and the cost could be reduced if produced in a large scale. “Though I have displayed my award winning innovation before the union and state agriculture ministers, the government has not extended any help yet. To avail the government subsidy, the power tiller has to undergo tests at the government’s testing institute. But, unfortunately, none of the testing institutes have testing guidelines for this prototype, due to which test can not be conducted and the machine deprives of availing government subsidy,” he said, requesting the government to set the testing norms for the remote control based power tiller. He claims to have spent Rs 60 lakh on research and development of the power tiller.

This young innovator, also bags the credit of developing an unmanned ground vehicle with multi-operational capabilities for defence sectors, which was though appreciated by the defence unit, failed to receive any government support. Prajwal Kumar has also developed tree climbing and harvesting robots for arecanut and palm trees and a weeding machine called Paraweeder.

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