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The project was deployed this year during the rice planting season and we collected initial data which was successful but also pointed to some holes in our logic. There were some incorrect assumptions on the power management and we mainly need to make the system more robust. Out in the rice paddies, there are all kinds of insects that will happily crawl into any hole or crevice available which also includes the acoustic sensor’s horn. That’s one reason we’re experimenting with creating our own sensor which could also be made insect proof. Otherwise, it’s mainly an iterative process of improving the hardware, software, fixing bugs, and making the system robust enough that it can be deployed in more remote locations and have a high uptime.
From Monitoring Paddies to Tracking Wild Boar
We’re hoping to have the system fully online for next year’s rice planting and also extend it to other applications such as boar trap monitoring. Wild boar are an invasive species in Japan and are considered a huge pest since they can decimate a farm in a single night. Boar traps are set up around the area but many of the trappers are older and can’t police the traps all the time. We’re going to adapt the system to notify trap owners whenever a wild boar is caught.
We’re also working with a group called TechAguru in Balanga City in the Philippines. TechAguru is an offshoot of the Balanga makerspace in rural Philippines and their focus is on optimizing the rice farming process out there. John Auxilios, one of the founders of TechAguru, came out to hackerfarm this year to discuss their project and we’re planning to bring the system out there and collaborate with them on rice farming in the Philippines. Otherwise, we’re mainly hoping to get the system ready for primetime and do an open source release soon 🙂