30 November 2022
Adopting IoT and AI Technologies for Efficient Digital Transformation in the Agribusiness Sector
Lead DIGIT Lab Academic involved: Professor Gerard Parr, Dr Hane Aung, Dr Ben Milner, Dr Edwin Ren, Dr Yusuf Tukur
Challenge/research question and methodology
- Extracting and converting data into useful and usable information, i.e., complex data analysis to draw informative conclusions
- Obtaining optimal environmental settings ideal for plant/seed growth
- Data (environment variables) integration and ownership
- Justifying potential benefits of digital transformation to agribusinesses, in terms of efficiency and timesaving
- How to initiate environmental settings to accelerate plant growth, for example in an experimental greenhouse?
- How to derive optimal environment settings for plant growth by learning from previously collected data?
- What are the best methods to extract and convert farm data into useful and usable information for the benefit of informed decision-making?
Deploying IoT sensors in the farm fields to measure and collect various data about the plants as well as the environment, then applying AI to analyze those data and provide insights about say, plant health, nutrient/moisture requirements, and current environment state – to help farmers make informed decisions for increased efficiency and optimal productivity.
The UEA successfully organized a workshop in conjunction with Agri-TechE, wherein we tried to understand the current digital landscape within the agri-tech business and the expectations of business embarking on a digital journey. We also attempted to learn about their successes, challenges, disappointments, and how digital technology adoption has impacted their efficiency and productivity.
Consequently, a solution is being developed at the UEA (smart seed testbed), which tries to address some of the key challenges identified from the workshop as highlighted above.
Workshop successfully completed and a full report has been produced. In addition, research for publication are ongoing around the subject.
This figure represents/visualizes the whole process involved in the adoption of IoT and AI to digitally transform the agribusiness sector.
Various IoT sensors are deployed in the farms to collect different data about plants and the farm environment, such as temperature and humidity, soil moisture levels and plant nutrients, as well as sunlight and other weather conditions to monitor the current state of the variables needed for effective plant cultivation.
All the sensed data are then transmitted over a chosen communication network from the pool of supporting connectivity solutions for the IoT, to the IoT platform where data processing and analytics take place.
The uniqueness of our proposed platform (AIoTtalk Platform) is that it is more than just a regular IoT platform because it leverages the power of AI to perform a wide range of analytical processing operations on the bulk of sensor data transmitted from the field.