IIT-Roorkee students develop a low-cost device for precision agriculture

IIT-Roorkee students develop a low-cost device for precision agriculture
Students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, have developed a very cost-effective device which can come handy to farmers in determining the health of the soil and use the right amount of fertilisers to grow their produce.

With the use of the device, farmers can reduce their fertiliser input costs “by around 40%” and increase their revenue and yield both “by almost 90%,” the developer's team claimed.

“The device is very cheap and easy to handle as compared to similar products available in the market. It will cost no more than Rs 7000 (per piece) while the price of similar products currently available in the market ranges from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh,” Ekdeep Lubana told DH.

Lubana is a third year B Tech students of the IIT-Roorkee and a leading member of the team which has developed the device—SNAP (Solving Nitrogen Application Problems).

“Currently, the prototype is ready and the testing is underway on actual fields. According to us, Summer 2018 will be the time when we will be able to launch it,” Lubana said.

The developer's team comprised IIT-Roorkee students Ankit Bagaria, Utkarsh Seth Saxena and Anisha Godha.

The SNAP is an optical imaging application which can determine the optimum fertiliser input by ‘multi-spectral imaging’ of crop leaves.

“It is a programmed camera module, used to click the image of leaves and determine the nitrogen content in the soil. It provides a click-and-capture basis soil analysis solution to the farmers, which will help in providing personal, quick and easy soil analysis in a cheap and accessible way,” Lubana said.

The students embarked upon the SNAP project to provide farmers with a low-cost and easy solution to determine the amount of fertiliser to be used as the cost of the existing soil testing mechanisms, used mainly in the research facilities, was very high.

“The principle modification and redundancy optimisation have helped us reduce the price while maintaining accuracy. One of the major issues faced in agriculture today is the ineffective use and abuse of fertilisers which cause major damage to the soil composition. The SNAP will prevent over or underuse of fertilisers,” Lubana said.

The 'Team SNAP' of the IIT-Roorkee recently stood out among 900 teams from more than 70 countries and emerged as the winner of the Ericsson Innovation Awards 2017. The SNAP fetched the team an award of 25,000 Euros.

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