Rice is a very strategic food commodity as it is the staple food for Indonesians. Indonesia, with its big population and 1.49% population growth in 2010, is predicted to be inhabited by 252,034,317 citizens in 2014. This lead to the challenge of feeding the nation as there is less supply than demand.
The biggest problem in supplying the demand is the crop failure caused by plant damaging organisms. The best way to prevent pests from damaging rice plants is to use pesticides. A system to spray the pesticides evenly and efficiently is needed to prevent excessive use of pesticides. In Indonesia, most sprayers for pesticide used are manually operated, so that it results in excessive use of sprayed pesticides.
Being inspired to modify the manual sprayer for pesticide, four students of the Faculty of Engineering at YSU worked together to produce ‘waterman,’ a semi automatic sprayer for pesticide as a tool to improve crop production. They are Andi Setiawan, Roy Fernando, Rifki Ayu Ramadhani, dan Khoirul Putro.
“Waterman consists of DC motor which converts solar energy into electrical energy, which is later stored in the accumulator. The electricity is used to activate the DC motor functioning as a pump,” Andi Setiawan explained.
Roy Fernando added that other crucial components of this semi-automatic sprayer are solar panels which produce green energy, the accumulator for the electrical energy storage, DC motor as the main machine, and a water tank with 15 liters capacity. It needs ten minutes to spray all of the content inside the tank. Waterman is also equipped with buttons to control its speed. (oiap)