Investigating Power Options for Sensors in Precision Agriculture

Project information
Increasingly we are in a position where we need to make significantly better use of the earth's resources. Unchecked human population growth means that we have more mouths to feed and effect of increasing human activity on the environment has led to pollution and arguably climate change. All of these factors present a significant challenge to agriculture. To overcome them, agriculture needs to become leaner, fitter and more efficient. One way of doing this is to put the computer in the cab of the tractor. Precision agriculture increases yields and reduces costs and collateral environmental damage by using digital technology to monitor and manipulate the agri-environment. If NASA where in the business of running farms, this would be the way they would would go about it! To be effective, we must be able to put digital data management systems and their attendant sensors in the field or glasshouse for extended periods of time, ideally weeks or even months. As the Apollo-13 mission controller John Aaron famously stated “power is everything”. Away from the mains, field based devices have to be energy efficient if they are function without significant intervention. High performance power technology is absolutely vital if the robot farm is to become a reality. This project is all about finding economically viable high performance power technologies which can be integrated with our products in order to turn off the shelf devices like the Raspberry Pi into budding agricultural workers.
Project results: 
Project Category: Innovation Voucher
Project dates: 
April 2013 to October 2013
Contact project
Contact organisation: 
Tumbling Dice Limited, Gosforth (Lead Participant, Participant)
Funding agency: 
Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)