Interactive session with industrial inventors
Kaustubh Dhonde, CEO, Swadeep Pillarisetti, Advisor and Board Director, Sachin Gowda, Embedded Engineer, and Aswanth Mulupuri, Intern, Department of Automation of AutoNxt Automation – an innovative Mumbai based startup, visited SRM University AP, Andhra Pradesh for a two-day program as a part of the National Science Day celebration at the campus. The company demonstrated their latest technological marvel, the World’s First Electric, Autonomous Tractor. “A lot of research is conducted globally with multiple companies working on the automation of on-road vehicles. However, off-road vehicles’ automation has hardly been touched upon previously, although there are less variables being controlled environments like farms, industrial plants, etc where it is more feasible a solution”, says Mr. Swadeep who has been advising the company which has brought about a revolutionary breakthrough in the domain of Indian agriculture.
Some of the exceptional features of the Electric Automated Tractor include fully electric drivetrain, low NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels, mobile application for interaction with the tractor, live tracking, geo fencing capabilities, battery and system status reports on mobile app, obstacle detection technology and optional automatic hydraulic control of implements. The company is also planning to develop a common charging point that will use free energy sources.
Demonstration by the CEO
AutoNxt Automation has created its niche by offering cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions to farming problems. Mr. Kaustubh believes “It is important that technology reaches out to the entire farmer class”. He further explains the crises of the Indian agricultural system that can be resolved using the Electric Automated Tractors, “The harvesting timeframe is narrow which increases the demand of skilled labour during this season, exponentially enhancing the cumulative cost of farming. The fully automated tractors embedded with camera identification systems and sensors reduce the operational expenses up to 4 times. Also, the IoT sensors give real-time feedbacks ensuring accuracy in tilling, ploughing, and spraying insecticide.”
The representatives of the company held a demonstrative session with the students and faculty on 26th February 2020, where they introduced the tractor and explained its technological viabilities. An interactive session was also held with the students on the same day. The session enabled the students to identify the practical applications of their acquired theoretical knowledge. The entrepreneurs inspired the students to create an impactful change that will eventually benefit society as a whole. Also, it creates an opportunity for them to be closely associated with people from the industry as well as the research domain. On the following day, a presentation was made to the faculty members of SRM AP to trigger discussions on technologies used by the Electric Automated Tractor. In the end, Mr. Kaustubh and Mr. Swadeep expressed their intent to involve students to work on real-time projects with the company, along with taking assistance from the faculty members to overcome hurdles pertaining to AI/ML technologies. Mr. Swadeep says, “The students will be exposed to real case studies, contribute to the improvement of the country, and in the process earn many accolades”.
Sachin Gowda interacting with the students