Vinod Kumar S
Founder & CEO
Demonstrating key achievements in building software applications for various public and private sector use cases, Senseacre has laid major focus in emerging technologies. The company specializes in UAV imagery analytics with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques in Agriculture, Mining, Smart Cities, and Irrigation and Dams. Headquartered in Hyderabad, Senseacre is involved in research on spectral imaging technology coupled with robotics and uses the support of software abilities to identify and eliminate weeds and pests. Vinod Kumar S, Founder & CEO of Senseacre, shares his insights on agriculture technology landscape and how Senseacre is creating own niche in this space.
In conversation with Vinod Kumar S, Founder & CEO, Senseacre
Agriculture is becoming a high-tech business with farmers and ranchers are adopting technology to grow more crops, controls pests and disease, and use data to make better decisions. Stepping into this potential domain, how is Senseacre making significant moves to boost the agriculture economy through tech based solutions?
Though agriculture technology has gained considerable hype, it seems we are still in single digits with reference to crop sown area. During this Kharif season, India’s crop sown area is 316 lakh hectares. Even drones and sensors adoption constitute less than 0.1 percent. In the current situation, food
security has become more challenging as COVID-19, locusts, and climate change are hampering the agriculture sector. Having been in this research as a Visual Intelligence Enterprise, we have collaborated with the best brains in the world to do crop health morning, pest and weed detection, and plant protection using UAVs. Senseacre has evolved as a significant player in agriculture integrating operations like plan, fly, capture, process, analyze, detect, and publish using technological assistance. We can capture and process 1000 hectares of crop sown land as blocks and publish results.
By building an algorithm, we have been able to detect pest and annotate across crop area
While technology is making it easier to monitor things like soil conditions, water usage and the weather, AI is making it easier to use that data to make decisions. Similarly, what technologies are brought in play by Senseacre?
As technology is making significant progress in agriculture sector, we have come up with state-ofthe-art equipment such as multispectral sensor with quadcopters and industrial grade UAVs. Our firm alliance with ICRISAT, PJTSAU, TCS, Government of Karnataka, NABARD, Government of Telangana, and Government of Andhra Pradesh, helped us throw light into many qualitative programs in research and commercial deployment. It is an appropriate moment for India to boost its drone manufacturing industry. Since we are in the early stage of adoption, India can take advantage of the vast agricultural area and create jobs in the rural sector.
Please elaborate on the Senseacre’s products in the Agri-tech space?
By building an algorithm, we have been able to detect pest and annotate across crop area. Senseacre’s team is trained on fast and accurate analysis of aerial
imagery with deep vision and artificial intelligence. It has helped in establishing standard operating procedures for multiple crops in India. Collaborating with agriculture universities, research institutions, and agro chemical companies resulted in standardizing the protocols for UAV spraying which will help the farmers and drone operators ensure the application of best practices and efficacy. We hope this could be rolled out in the next two crop seasons if everything is in place.
Could you please quote one or more successful implementations that you have achieved in the agri-tech domain?
Sure. In one case, we have completed a 2700-acre land map classification for an agri university in Telangana. For a large bank in the country, we completed WADI monitoring and for ICRISAT and GOK, we attained area of 1000 hectares of crop classification and crop sown area. Dr Abdul Kalam advanced UAV research Labs, Anna University for their Hybrid spraying Drone is another land mark alliance to achieve sustainable crop protection across large areas and reduce input costs for farmers and protect their crops from pests and weeds. As DGCA and Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India have started witnessing the potential of drones in COVID-19 and Locust emergency, we hope for a significant boost in drone industry coming for scale of adoption.
What is the future roadmap of the company in the emerging and flourishing agriculture tech industry?
As Digital sky is getting ready and a more detailed drone policy from DGCA is on the way, we will remain focused on the increasing opportunity for technology in agriculture sector. Other sectors for survey and monitoring are anyway there for drone technology adoption. If approvals are in place, we are keen to establish manufacturing of spraying drones entirely from design to deliver as an OEM within 2 years from now. This space is capital intensive and highly compliance based with safety and security. World is watching and best is yet to come as Made in India and we continue to lead this space.