UGM students never stop to make innovations. This time, several students succeeded to develop an innovation on agricultural technology sector which is a robot that can help the farmers in nurturing and farming corn.
The robot, namely ARBAIN (A Robot of Corn Farming), is developed by Yarabisa Yanuar and Kevin Mahardika from Faculty of Engineering, Ilham Nur Ahmad from Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Noviana Nur Sari from Faculty of Biology, as well as Qurrota A’yun from Faculty of Medicine. This robot is designed to help the farmers in nurturing the corn, detecting diseases, and monitoring the plants’ condition.
“This robot can help the corn farming be more effective and efficient, thus it can help the farmers increase their corn productivity,” said Yanuar on Thursday at UGM Campus.
This robot development is done as one of the efforts to increase the productivity of the crop, including corns in order to realize food self-sufficiency in Indonesia. As we know, the amount of corn import is still high and it keeps increasing every year. One of the factors of this increase is pests and plant diseases. The disease that often causes damage to the corn crops is a dull disease which is caused by the fungus, namely Peronosclerospora sp.
“The dull disease is very dangerous because it can cause crop failure. Therefore, we make an innovation by designing a multi-talented robot which adopts the jobs and functions of ladybird robot,” he added.
Yanuar said ladybird robot is developed using solar energy and it has succeeded to be implemented in a vegetable plantations in Australia. However, this sophisticated robot has yet to be applied in Indonesia due to its high cost that can reach billion rupiahs.
Moreover, the area of vegetable plantations in Indonesia is relatively narrow so it will be less efficient if using a big machine.
Therefore, they develop a robot with a minimalist design according to the distance between corn crops that is 20 x 65 cm2 in general, thus it would not damage the crops. SRF sensor will detect the position of each corn crop and measure its height. The robot is designed using an autonomous system so it can automatically work using remote control.
This robot also has a capability in detecting downey mildew disease in the corn. This disease has physical characteristics of yellowish leaves and dwarf plant size. The color sensor in the robot will quickly detect if those characteristics exist in the corn crops.
“If a corn crop is identified to have the downey mildew disease, the robot will spray pesticide around the infected crop to prevent the spread of the disease through fungus,” said Yanuar.
Ilham further said this robot is also equipped with a sensor that can detect the ground humidity. The humidity data will be sent via SMS as an instruction towards the farmer to immediately watering the crops based on the capacity of the field and the corn crops necessity.
“Therefore, the farmers do not have to come to the field to monitor the ground condition,” said Ilham.
ARBAIN is also connected with water pump, thus it can automatically turn the pump on if the ground humidity is declining.
Meanwhile, it uses an electric motor with solar energy as its energy source so it can save energy and it is environmentally friendly.
The robot which is developed through the Students Creativity Programme UGM 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Eng. Herianto, S.T., is not only used to monitor the agricultural fields, particularly corn crops, and prevent the downey mildew disease, but also to detects forest fire accurately.
“This robot is expected to help the farmers in monitoring and detecting corn’s diseases, thus it can increase the farmers’ productivity in order to encourage the national food security,” he added.