Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Solar-Powered Crop-harvesting robot

It was amazing to see that a solar-powered crop-harvesting robot developed by T.J.Davidand Kudikala Shravan Kumar from International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)-Hyderabad, has won the Intel India Embedded Challenge 2011. This nationwide competition is an initiative by Intel in India to recognize and reward outstanding ideas in embedded technology, based on the Intel Atom Processor.

The energy efficient, lightweight robot overcomes drawbacks of prior arts of conventional harvesting machines. It requires only 500W of electric energy stored in batteries, which can be charged by solar PV panels or grid power. The cost of harvesting one acre of land is Rs 10 if grid power (at Rs 5 per kw) is used for charging the batteries, while a conventional harvester consumes diesel worth Rs 800.

The machine weighs about 125 kg. It is operational both via remote and electrically, and requires an embedded system and control to operate. The overall cost of the reaping system is Rs 50,000. It can be adapted for cutting various crops apart from paddy and wheat by changing the cutter bar.

The winners were awarded with Rs 10 lakh and will get an opportunity to participate in ‘The Next Big Idea' conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Indian Institute of Management, in collabration with Intel.It is great to see that Indians are bagging good prices in all fields.

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