RoboTech is a comprehensive solution based on a robot mounted over an assembled small vehicle, which navigates autonomously through a greenhouse to detect plant diseases and infections, allowing the farmer to take immediate decisions and actions to spray pesticides, or any other remediations. The IoT sensors along with Computer Vision powered by the AWS cloud detect the different types of plant diseases and report them on an interactive dashboard with the location and type of disease.
Until today The Fodder & Nursery Farming Department at the Ministry of Agriculture has been issuing manual and visual means to detect plant disease alongside manual spraying of pesticides in a conventional way. There is no available real-time reporting of accurate diseases, locations, and exact times. Robotech provides cost-effective, autonomous navigation, 24/7, and real-time reporting of any detected plant disease in the Greenhouses.
In a collaboration between AWS and BP CIC, the ICT and Engineering students at BP developed Robotech, which is a comprehensive solution that consists of cameras, containers, pumps, and IoT sensors mounted over a small-size vehicle that acts as an integrated solution for navigation, detection and fighting diseases through spraying pesticides. The detection and spray functionalities along with real-time reporting of plant infection disease are reflected on an interactive dashboard that shows in the Crisis and Disaster Management control room all reported plant diseases from all greenhouses in one interface. The Robotech dashboard provides information to facilitate leadership to take informed decisions and move teams in an effective, speedy, and efficient manner.
“The Fodder & Nursery Farming Department is passionate and committed to enhance and support food Security, and fight plant diseases across Bahrain. Robotech is here to give The Fodder & Nursery Farming Department a vehicle to accelerate their journey to Digital Transformation,” said Mike Bainbridge, EMEA Cloud Innovation Centers leader at AWS. “We want The Fodder & Nursery Farming Department to tap into latest AWS technologies to solve their real-world problems and achieve Food Security in Bahrain along with several SDG that align with Bahrain Vision 2030”.
The Fodder & Nursery Farming supervisor tested Robotech at one greenhouse for multiple types of plant disease as a start. The supervisor has a visual dashboard to monitor and respond immediately in case of any harmful diseases that are detected, to control the disease spread at the Greenhouse. The system utilizes Robots with AWS IoT Core, AWS Rekognition, Serverless Lambdas, AWS SNS for notification, and RDS for data storage and a custom-built dashboard that requires minimal maintenance. RoboTech works by automatically surveying the client’s greenhouses on specified schedules by the supervisor and ingesting live imagery from the greenhouses to the AWS machine learning systems and if any plant diseases are detected, a process triggers a notification to the supervisor mobile and allows them to remotely spray pesticides at the greenhouse or to simply assign a different remediation technique to be taken by the farmers. It also notifies management when it needs refilling of its pesticides tanks or needs charging.
The team behind RoboTech has also built several internal systems and processes that allow them to improve and monitor the performance of the machine learning models and the different AWS services utilized to ensure that the system is automatically being enhanced in a self-learning loop from the user’s feedback.
“It was an eye opener working closely with AWS and BP to develop Robotech” said Jassim A.Karim Ali, head of Fodder & Nursery Farming Department at the Ministry of Municipalities. The ability to detect any plant disease and mitigate their issues before spreading and minimize mass spray of pesticides could result in a 25% increase in crops at the greenhouses and this is a huge supply to the Bahraini market and great impact and value added to food safety across Bahrain.
Robotech is available for a pilot at the greenhouses with additional power and communication tools to make sure the remote sites benefit from the system.
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