Agrisense was developed with help from Digital Catapult and aims to explore how Internet of Things (IoT) and AI analytics can be applied to the agricultural domain in order to minimise energy usage and increase yield. Specifically, Agrisense focuses on the optimal conditions for drying and storing grain; Grain spoilage is a global problem and solving it has real world benefits from both a food security and economic standpoint.
nquiringminds are uniquely situated to tackle this kind of challenge with expertise in developing and deploying low cost IoT sensors, AI powered analytics and customisable hardware. Working with Digital Catapult funding was secured from the Euro CPS Seed Funding initiative; Euro CPS aims to support SMEs in the development of industrial experiments and innovation. Over an initial project length of eight months a system was designed, developed, deployed and tested that would provide a complete agricultural monitoring system. After a successful trial period on the Longwood Estate in Hampshire a follow on project was funded to develop a similar solution for use in agriculture in India.
nquiringminds used their InterliNQ IoT middleware to build both the IoT routers and the temperature/humidity sensors, which monitor and control the grain drying process. All of the data is fed into nquiringminds’s Trusted Data Exchange (TDX). The TDX is used to store both the historical and real time data.
This same platform allows this data to be shared, analysed and visualised at scale. The Agrisense solution offers the potential for massive savings and increased profit margins for grain farmers. With grain prices in the hundreds of pounds per tonne, a farmer who harvests 10,000 tonnes annually could, conservatively, increase their profits by £40,000 per year by retrofitting a sensor set and running the data through the NQR toolbox. Not only will farmers sell their grain for more, they will also save on the fuel costs for drying the grain. The UK grain, seed and bean harvest is approximately 250 million tonnes a year. This would work out at approximately £60m saved per year for each percent closer to the optimal moisture threshold. That is equivalent to a cut of a third of a billion kilograms of CO2.