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Goa Engineering student innovation helps to stamp out coconut killer

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Panaji: As farmers across the globe are using new technologies for better yields, a student from Don Bosco College of Engineering, Fatorda Pankaj Kumar Yadav and his team Rohil Naik, Neehal Bind, Deepak Sharma and Sarvesh kumtekar have designed first drone in the state that can be used for agriculture practices. More precisely, the new drone will spray coconut trees with pesticide to kill insects that, for more than a decade, have caused severe damage to the crops.The black-headed caterpillars have been destroying coconut farmland in the coastal area for many years, pushing hundreds of farmers to the brink of financial collapse. With the drone, pesticides could be sprayed more easily from atop coconut trees.

What are the challenges you faced while developing the drone?
The main challenging part was the selection of material and calculation of which size we should choose. Even money was another challenging part.

Tell us the whole design process? Drones are generally used for emergency purposes, how did the idea of incorporating in the agriculture sector come to you?
The basic design we have done it in solidworks. Like we design frame, arms motors, propeller, etc and later on we assembled it in solidworks. Once there was a webinar on drone in our class so there we come to know about drones and also that it can be used in various field so we decided to make a drone for agricultural purpose that is spraying pesticides on coconut tree.

How long did it take to make the whole project?
Total duration to make this project was 1 year.

Do you think our agriculture sector is ready to adapt new technological advancement in their farming process? Yes,  because farmers takes more time to do the same thing which can be done in less time using new technology like these drone. It is safer. Besides protecting coconut other benefits what farmers can get is safety. They’ll not be exposed to chemicals whic is present in pesticides and also it is time efficient. Our drone is capable of lifting 5 liter of pesticides in one go.

(The project is supported by the Goa State Innovation Council and granted under the scheme of the prototyping grant worth ₹20,000/- The prototype was built at the “prototyping lab of GSInC. We encourage other innovators or students to avail the benefits.)

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