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2022-11-14 10:49

Tien Giang: Invention of a robotic device to monitor and diagnose diseases on cantaloupe plants

This is an innovative solution made by MSc. Vo Le Ngoc Tram, a teacher at Xuan Dieu Secondary School (My Tho City) and his partners. The work was awarded the Encouragement Prize of the XIV Tien Giang Provincial Technical Innovation Contest (2020 - 2021) for meeting the criteria of novelty, creativity and applicability.

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Robotic device invented by Mr. Vo Le Ngoc Tram and his partners

With a desire to apply digital technology in monitoring and checking the status of pests on cantaloupe plants in order to take timely preventive measures to avoid the spread and infection of pathogens, Mr. Vo Le Ngoc Tram and colleagues have embarked on research and creation of "Robotic device for monitoring and diagnosing diseases on cantaloupe plants". This device helps observe, check, monitor and diagnose some common diseases on cantaloupe plants such as powdery mildew, false downy mildew, anthracnose, leaf scorch, green wilt disease, thrips...

This device works similarly to a miniature robot based on the application of digital technology and mechanical and electronic engineering, in which, relevant data and images are digitalized and updated into specialized software. The structure includes a Processing Center (Adruinonano); temperature and humidity sensor (DHT11); LCD display 1602 (displays temperature and humidity settings); 4 x 4 matrix keyboard (setting the device schedule); booster module (power supply to the camera); motor control module; wifi camera; remote control, etc.

Prior to operation, open the power switch, the camera will be connected to the computer or mobile phone through the Yoosee app; at the same time, install some related information such as size, length, width of the net house, the number of melons per bed... The installation of the operating schedule for the robotic device can be done in automatic mode combined with remote control (in case the image provided from the camera is not clear, you can use the remote to control the robot to move back and forth to observe and check carefully).

After setting the operation schedule and starting, the robotic device will move inside the greenhouse in each row, take pictures of each cantaloupe plant (with the camera), send the data to the Processing Center to diagnose diseases, propose measures to treat pests and diseases (if any); at the same time, send the results to the computer (installed, connected) or the smartphone of the technical person in charge to make decisions. In case you cannot make a decision and you need to consult an expert or a person in charge, technicians can send pictures to the Agricultural Service Center or agro-pharmaceutical store for more advices on the disease status of the cantaloupe and how to prevent it.

According to Mr. Tram, the application of digital technology in the operation of this device is very important. Accordingly, the research team uses algorithms (C++ software, open source) to input data, images (digitalized) about some common diseases on cantaloupe plants and preventive measures through practical experience and research from many sources. Therefore, the diagnostic results from the device are quite accurate due to the comparison and matching between the observed images and the data and images installed and updated on the software.

Currently, this robotic device has been completed by the research team for the second version (using solar panels instead of rechargeable panels and adding some other features) at the order of Bosch Vietnam Co., Ltd. (the world's leading technology group, headquartered in the Federal Republic of Germany) to commercialize and mass-produce to supply to markets in other countries.

“The cost of making this device is only about VND 3 million. The application of digital technology creates a robotic device to check and monitor diseases on cantaloupe grown in a net house with an area of ​​​​500 m2 (4 crops per year) can save over VND 50 million/year as compared with hiring workers. In addition, the reduced presence of human beings in the net house also helps limit the spread of pathogens from the environment," said Mr. Tram.

According to the Organizing Committee of Tien Giang Technical Innovation Contest, the patent solution of Mr. Vo Le Ngoc Tram is at low costs but efficient. This device can be replicated and applied in a number of other vegetables grown in net houses through updating the software and data related to the vegetables being cultivated.

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