Through the efforts of the Nigerian Communications Commission into sponsorship of reaaserch in various areas of human endeavour, the Faculty of Technology Building University of Ibadan, has developed a cybertronic data harvester and aggregation scheme for efficient precision farming.
The result of the study, which was published on the website of the NCC with the titled: “Development of Secure Framework for Data Harvesting and Monitoring System for Large Scale Farms” A Research Sponsored by Nigerian Communications Commission, and sighted by TechnologyMirror also include the development of a UAV for deploying the onboard data harvesting electronic communication system to relevant farm locations.
According to the Principal Investigation Officer of the team, Dr Olufemi Olakanmi, the experiments were performed to ascertain the applicability of the system to modern agriculture adding that preliminary results show that the developed system is robust and effective for real-time precision agriculture.
He added that flight tests show that the developed UAV has effective hovering capability over a particular location while the FWSN gateway uploads the necessary data. Meanwhile, the aggregation scheme and the associated edge computing\communication system have high reliability to secure the telemetry of farm data while reducing communication traffic between the farm and the cloud server.
The investigators said: “In the future, we will look at how this can be extended to other applications of telemetry, remote sensing, and fish farming.
“Therefore, we hope that the present work incites interest in the systems developed and the general applications of electronics and computers in agriculture. In view of this, we envisage that this work would also improve scientific collaborations between scientists, engineers, and farmers to fully exploit the capabilities of the developed systems.”
The scholars further said that the prototype has a complete CAD design that can be mass produced for the readily available market especially the youth that want to farm but believe that some of the farm activities are dirty and not lucrative.
“Moreover, the project greatly encourages local content in terms of the manpower and materials used in building the project. In terms of materials, the edge (Unmanned aerial vehicle), air quality and farm monitoring systems are constructed using local and readily available materials such as aluminum and used plastic materials.”
The study also, solved electricity power problem in Nigeria as the project was built as part of outcome-based education for both undergraduate and postgraduate students adding that mass production of the project will bring down the cost to N20,000.
“This cost reduction is due to the fact that most of the materials used can be sourced locally. The Nigerian Communications Commission can facilitate a meeting point between we the innovator and the investors who are ready to help in the commercialization of the product”, they said.
The scholars appealed to the NCC to facilitate a workable and profit oriented business model that will make the mass production and commercialisation a reality adding that the success rate of the project is about 85%, however, the only thing that can make it fails is the absence of a good UAV pilot.