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Blockage Detection in Seeder
Objective: To detect blockages in the seed tube using an ultrasonic sensor and reporting the same to a smartphone application. Methods/Analysis: Seeder machines in agricultural operations may face real-time problems of plugging due to stubble, stones or unusually large seeds. The ultrasonic sensor transmits sound waves and uses delay in the received echo signal to measure distance from the sensor to the obstacle (either the flowing seed or the opposite wall of the nozzle). Based on the calculated distance, the flow of seeds through the nozzle can be detected. Findings: At present, a person is employed in the field to look after the seeder machines and detect the blockages, making it more prone to human errors. Thus it is necessary to find an automated and productive solution to detect the blockages in seeder. The proposed solution monitors and report blockages in the nozzles of agricultural seeder machines by using low cost ultrasonic sensors. One such sensor will be placed on each row unit and all these sensors will continuously communicate with a central controller placed on the seeder. The sensors will report nozzle-blockage to the controller and which will then immediately notify the same to the smartphone user via a graphical real-time application. All kinds of blockages such as stones, stubble, unusually large seeds can be detected by this mechanism. These blockages will be reported to the user via a smartphone application (based on GSM) and the exact location of the blockage will be intimated to the user. Looking at the application window, the user will get real-time information about the blocked nozzle in the seeder. Applications/Improvements: The solution offered in this paper can further be improved by using other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi (instead of GSM used here).
GSM Module, Microcontroller, Smartphone Application, Seeder Nozzle, Ultrasonic Distance Sensor.
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