IIT-Kharagpur Develops Prototype to Monitor Soil Health


IIT-Kharagpur has developed a smart solution for farmers based on Internet of Things (IoT) to help monitor soil moisture and soil temperature

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) have developed a smart solution for farmers based on Internet of Things (IoT) to help monitor nutrient contents and water levels. Researchers from its department of computer science and engineering have developed a prototype using batteryless sensor nodes to monitor agricultural field parameters.

Accessible for the remote areas

Prototype using batteryless sensor node solution can also be used in other areas like construction, traffic management and health-care systems. There are two parts to this solution both of which do not need any Internet connectivity, allowing the solution to work even in the remotest parts of the country. Using this device, a farmer can digitise his fields and follow scientific approaches to farming.

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 portion is handheld, which tracks or reads the data from the device present on the field.

Increases farmers efficiency

The handheld device automatically reads the data collected by the device on the field when it comes in contact. This data from the handheld device is later transferred to remote servers, said one of the researchers. The data from the fields can then be used for data analytics, data visualisation and other processes. Other researchers have applied for patent for this product.

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 commercialisation, said a faculty member at the institute. The size of the two 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.