The Researchers at the Department Of Computer Science and Engineering, at IIT Kharagpur have developed a a prototype using batteryless sensor nodes to monitor agricultural field parameters e.g. soil moisture, soil temperature, nutrient contents and water levels. The size of the conjugate devices is about 10 cm by 10 cm — roughly the size of a tiffin box — and is developed at the Smart Wireless Applications and Networking (SWAN) Lab of the IIT.
Without any need of Internet connectivity, allowing the device to work even in the remotest parts of the country. Out of two parts one part of the device is placed in the field. It uses sensor nodes and has a processor, a radio unit and sensors for reading the soil moisture, soil temperature and water level in fields. The other half is handheld, which tracks or reads the data from the device present on the field.
This data from the handheld device is later transferred to remote servers,” said Anandarup Mukherjee, one of the researchers. The data from the fields can then be used for data analytics, data visualisation and other processes. Other researchers behind this solution are Arijit Roy and Sudip Misra.
The institute is still to work out the cost for this solution that could make farming more productive. “We are looking at partnerships with government bodies including the ministry of agriculture and private sector companies to take this solution to the next stage of commercialization. And also, reducing the certain essential components in a sensor-based system, such as the battery, the net cost of each sensor nodes will come down, which in turn makes it more affordable to the masses,” Misra said.
Using this device, a farmer can digitize his fields and follow scientific approaches to farming. This solution can also be used in other areas like construction, traffic management and health-care systems.