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  • IIIT Hyderabad Students Design Low-cost Robots for Harvesting - Win The Intel India Embedded Challenge 2011

    ROBOTS are all set to bring down the cost of harvesting. A solar- powered harvesting robot designed by T. J. David and Kudikala Shravan Kumar of the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT- H) bagged the overall first prize at the Intel India Embedded Challenge 2011 in Bangalore on Friday.

    Mr T J David, a school drop-out but a ''born inventor'', was today recognised for his relentless effort to invent modern machinery for the masses, especially the Indian farmers.

    The crop harvesting machine works on 500 watt batteries that can be recharged by solar panels or grid power. The cost of using the robot would be as little as `10 an acre if grid power is used for charging as compared to a conventional harvester that uses diesel worth `800 for the task, claimed the inventors.

    The robotic harvester will come for about `50,000, which is 80 per cent less than the traditional harvester, David said.

    The machine weighs 125 kg and can be operated both electrically and via a remote. It can be adapted for cutting various crops besides paddy and wheat by changing the cutter bar.

    The Hyderabad duo were awarded `10 lakh, while the winners of the seven individual categories, who were awarded `50,000 each, include the Centre for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC), Kolkata, for its “portable electronic nose for the tea industry” and IIT Kanpur for its “embedded eyes for the blind”. A total of 31 teams were shortlisted for the finals from 1,600 entries.

    The eight winning teams will get an opportunity to participate in the “Next Big Idea” — a presentation forum jointly organised by Intel, the department of science and technology and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) in November.