CoCoBot: A coconut tree climbing machine
Are you wondering what is CoCobot? Hell Yes!
Cocobot bifurcated stands for coconut plus robot. It is a machine that will help get coconuts from the tree to the ground. CoCoBot is all ready to set ablaze in the farming sector very soon.
This has been undertaken by Fennec Fox Technologies in year 2015. It is quite an exciting journey for us to work on a product which will benefit socio-economical paradigm of an agriculture sector.
Project history: We all know India is one of the biggest agricultural land and its rich soil provides highest GDP to the nation. Coconut out of all is something that has been underrated in terms of infusing technology and getting it where it should potentially stand. India is trending towards the no.1 position as the highest coconut producers across the globe but we are still not able to suffice the global need due to inappropriate means of pulling coconuts. Even today, it has been undertaken manually. But it’s not enough! There is a severe urge of coconuts from all over but its demand and supply disproportion is indirectly hampering the farmers and the agricultural farming sector. In our extensive research we found that in the coconut sector, there is huge demand for the coconuts all over the world however the supply is falling short to suffice this need.
Demand X Supply proportion: There are various reason for inadequate supply of coconuts in the market. For e.g.: drought, tree diseases, market rates, short number of coconut climbers, inefficient traditional farming methods etc. Further we observed that some of the problems can be handled only through farming solutions but some can be tackled with the help of automating the processes. Combining our extensive research and experience in the field of robotics helped us to tap the problem and its solution. At the current stage, tree climbers to cut coconuts is of a mammoth challenge. Bingo! That triggered our idea of making CoCoBot.
The competition conducted by coconut board could not produce desired results => http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/No-winners-for-coconut-plucking-machine-contest/articleshow/14621121.cms
Research and Findings: Initially, we were apprehensive about our readings and unsure if this was the right direction we are heading to. Is there really tree climber crunch? We investigated this issue and met several domain experts from various states in India. We were right! The severity of the problem was tad bit more than we thought of.
Why was it such a big issue just to get the coconuts down from the trees? There are many reasons for this: – the new generation of farmers are shunning off the farming jobs and getting attracted to corporate work in closed offices. The earlier generation farmers are now either too old or not ready to climb as often as they use to in past. There are high chances of getting injured and are expecting extravagant money due to heavy risk and physical work involved in it. Also, there are no standard rules and regulations or stringent policy to avoid human risk. Outcome of all this –coconuts not getting its potential customer and are just hanging on the tree. It is not reaching the right place.
There has been many hobbyist, amateur developers, agriculture universities and some companies who either worked individually or together to fix this issue However, they failed to come out with sophisticated solution and had many loopholes and dint go hit!
We also got introduced to Coconut development board (CDB) – which is a centrally governed organization in India. They happen to conduct a competition in 2012; however, they could not select any idea which would suffice the need of climbing. Although there is a program “Friends of coconut tree” initiated by CDB which is taking shape in several areas, but it is not helping to reduce manual efforts.
Birth of CoCoBot: Why is this issue not yet sorted? Why so many of the earlier attempts of different people/company unable to tackle it? We sat down had a long brain storming sessions. We jot down failure reasons of the existing but yet not successful applications. We interacted with these people to understand where it all go wrong.
One of the best things that happened to CoCobot app was the pleasure of interacting with eminent people working in this sector – Mr. T.K.Jose (Chairman of CDB) and CDB team, Mr. O.V.R Somasundaram, Mr.Rama Chandra Raju Dantuluri (Noveeal), Mr. Prasanna Gogate, Mr. Gurav S.S. (Entomologist – Dr. B.S.K.K.V Dapoli, Maharashtra) along with many other CPC board members especially Palakkad CPC – Mr. Joji M Thakadi and Padmanbhan B who are assisting us at various level. Also thanks to Lean! It helped us reach the root cause of the issue and to take the customers need into consideration.
Present status: At present a pilot model is being developed which will be demonstrated in several parts of southern states of India, Maharashtra and Goa with the help CPCs (formed by CDB) and also with the experts and farmers. Although we have already considered their major requirements we are constantly taking up various ideas and suggestions which at every stage makes CoCobot a more efficient application.
Call for suggestion through Blog: We will be happy to accept your suggestions through this blog. Request you to post the suggestion in the comment block below along with your name, contact details, country. If you are a farmer, please do not forget to mention your harvesting area and local climbing related problems.
Call us for group demo: The pilot model demonstration will be available soon. The details will be updated in the section in some days.
Keep on visiting CoCoBot blog for further updates.