Home / All Innovations / Innovation Details

Rakshak: Autonomous Miniature Drones to Combat Locust Attack.

Description: Problem Statement: With the locust attack escalating over the last few days, causing major agricultural damage which can lead to famine and starvation leading to huge losses. Solution: We have come up with an innovative technique of locust control is by employing a set of miniature drones to the affected farm area so as to only combat the locusts without affecting the ecosystem of the area. These drones have a cartridge attached to it which holds the required pesticides and insecticides. Once the swarm has been detected these drones autonomously would spray them on the targeted areas. The mini-drones would be equipped with a cartridge to hold the required chemicals and would automatically land to refill it once emptied. These locusts show a specific behavior while creating extremely stable swarms. The autonomous drones would be trained to move in a specific order to break the swarm and their stability and thus their direction and be able to attack the maximum number of locusts with

Swarms of locusts have invaded vast swathes of land in India this year. They have entered several districts in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. This attack has quickly caused a lot of damage in about 90,000 hectares of land in Rajasthan. Many other states in the country have been alerted to take precautions to withstand the locust attack. But withstanding the locust attack is not as easy as it seems to be, the challenge seems to be more complex and exhausting with the increasing size of the swarm. A set of fully-autonomous miniature drones are drafted to specifically attack the swarm of locusts by following certain patterns and spray high concentration of pesticide on the locusts through target springs present on the drones without harming the plants. The movement of the cluster of drones is solely dependent on the movement of locusts restricted to a perimeter. The size of the drone is compact enough to not harm the constituents of the farm land. The drone consists of a pesticide cartridge which upon completion, the drone will pull-over to refill the cartridge. A locust in a swarm must be able to interact with at least two neighbours simultaneously. Without those two neighbours, the insects can’t reproduce the striking spontaneous changes in direction we are used to seeing in flocks of starlings, schools of fish – and swarms of locusts. With the help of this observation the miniature drones follow certain rules and algorithms to attack the swarm and destry the locusts. Cameras would be attached to the drones for detecting the locuts and they also be equipped with a continuous commution internally within them and also with the autonomous controllers. These drones can also be used to spray other pesticides on the crops as well to protect them from locust attacks. Specifically, the drone atomizes the pesticides into micron-level droplets, so the chemicals can spray at higher coverage area. The strong downdraft generated by the propellers can significantly reduce liquid drifting and increase pesticide deposition, which means that both sides of the leaves and the central part of crops can be more precisely targeted. Such mechanism can not only increase fall armyworm’s exposure to chemicals but also cut down a large amount of pesticide use and better conserve the beneficial insects.

Organisation: Sreenidhi Institute of Science and Technology, Yamnampet, Ghatkesar, Hyderabad- 501301.

Innovator(s): M. Vaishnavi, R. Rushika, Dheeraj Kumar, B. Raga Mohana, B. Sri Charan

Category: Agriculture

Country: India

Gold Award