Design and Analysis of Photovoltaic Powered Battery-Operated Computer Vision-Based Multi-Purpose Smart Farming Robot
Farm machinery like water sprinklers (WS) and pesticide sprayers (PS) are becoming quite popular in the agricultural sector. The WS and PS are two distinct types of machinery, mostly powered using conventional energy sources. In recent times, the battery and solar-powered WS and PS have also emerged. With the current WS and PS, the main drawback is the lack of intelligence on water and pesticide use decisions and autonomous control. This paper proposes a novel multi-purpose smart farming robot (MpSFR) that handles both water sprinkling and pesticide spraying. The MpSFR is a photovoltaic (PV) powered battery-operated internet of things (IoT) and computer vision (CV) based robot that helps in automating the watering and spraying process. Firstly, the PV-powered battery-operated autonomous MpSFR equipped with a storage tank for water and pesticide drove with a programmed pumping device is engineered. The sprinkling and spraying mechanisms are made fully automatic with a programmed pattern that utilizes IoT sensors and CV to continuously monitor the soil moisture and the plant’s health based on pests. Two servo motors accomplish the horizontal and vertical orientation of the spraying nozzle. We provided an option to remotely switch the sprayer to spray either water or pesticide using an infrared device, i.e., within a 5-m range. Secondly, the operation of the developed MpSFR is experimentally verified in the test farm. The field test’s observed results include the solar power profile, battery charging, and discharging conditions. The results show that the MpSFR operates effectively, and decisions on water use and pesticide are automated.