Economic Times | Technology ||
Antony Jenitter has sold 27 indoor gardening devices which are priced Rs 299 and is working with prospective clients such as SAP Labs for the outdoor solution.
Many Bengalureans have been witness to those glory days when they could endlessly water their gardens and still have water left to wash their porches and cars. Some still continue to spend huge volumes of water on their greenery at a time when water is a scarce commodity. Now, an engineering student has come up with an innovation that allows the garden city to hold onto its gardens but water it sustainably. Antony Jenitter a sixth semester student of telecommunication engineering at CMR Institute of Technology, has built the system keeping farmers in mind but quickly adapted it to cater to urban needs, sensing an opportunity. “Many people and places in the city are interested in or have greenery. However, they end up wasting a lot of water trying to maintain it,“ Jennitter said, giving the example of his college which has limited or no water supply on two days of the week and yet does not fail to generously water its plants with a hose on days there is water supply.
Several soil-moisture and temperature sensors are placed at predefined spots and are connected to a controller. A tablet, in which green patches of the campus are mapped, uses the sensor data to graphically display the water levels. Connected to this are sprinklers which automatically turn on and off based on moisture requirements. The system is customised to water with precision. “For instance, if there is a circular patch of greenery, the sprinkler will be modified to water only in that radius. This way, not an extra drop of water is wasted,“ Jenitter said. Another problem he found was that individuals who grow plants on their balconies or indoors often let them dry when they travel or forget to water. To address this, he has built a compact indoor garden watering device which is the size of an average smartphone. “When attached to a pot, the device will ensure that it is watered optimally ,“ he said.
After his idea was incubated at CMRIT, Jenitter decided to commercialise it. He registered it as the proprietor under the name Irrrigatronics in January this year. He has since sold 27 indoor gardening devices which are priced Rs 299 and is working with prospective clients such as SAP Labs for the outdoor solution, which is priced based on the area and other requirements. Professor Kalaga Madhav, of the Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering at CMRIT, said Jenitter’s system has also helped the college optimise its water usage in the gardens. “When you ask a gardener to use less water, it means nothing to him. However, a machine actually ensures you are neither over-watering nor underwatering,“ he said. CMR Group of Institutions chairman and Rajya Sabha member KC Ramamurthy said that with the current unpredictable weather conditions, and failing monsoons, such innovations are crucial. “The government must take notice of such small-level frugal innovations and develop them to implement on a large-scale.“ – Courtesy