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Smart Industry 1/2018

Smart Industry 1/2018 - The IoT Business Magazine - powered by Avnet Silica


Smart Lifestyle IOT in Agriculture IoT in Agriculture Betting the Farm When thinking about applications for automation, robots, and connected sensors, their industrial uses immediately come to mind, but taking a closer look at developments in agriculture unearths a number of surprises. There are so many striking examples that could easily fill a whole magazine. Instead, we have picked out some that seem especially stunning. ■ By Rainer Claassen 62

IoT, the oyster said ■ Can mollusks save the planet? Oysters are filter feeders, which means they often absorb contaminants as well as food from their environment, substances that may be harmful to humans. Oyster harvesting is usually controlled by public authorities and collections are suspended temporarily if there is cause for alarm. Rainwater washes contaminants from the land and into the waterways where the oysters grow, so farmers depend heavily on precise meteorological data to determine the right time for harvesting. If the harvest is stopped unnecessarily, it can cost the oyster farmers a great deal of money in lost sales. Just off the Australian island of Tasmania, measuring stations using the Bosch ProSyst IoT platform have been installed in the immediate vicinity of oyster beds. These measure the depth and salinity of the water, as well as temperature and atmospheric pressure. Algorithms developed by local startup The Yield AgTec Solutions record and analyze the data, allowing farmers to check their computers or smartphones for the ideal time to harvest. Bosch has developed the system in cooperation with The Yield and supplies the hardware, software, and realtime data management. As Jesse Reader, a Bosch associate involved in the project, points out, the company’s experience in the automotive industry proved to be of great benefit, since this is all about making sensitive technology function reliably in a harsh environment. It all goes to help the oyster farmers optimize their harvests and become more profitable. As a result, it is now possible to reduce unnecessary closures by as much as 30%, which could potentially save the Australian oyster industry several millions of dollars a year. In addition, collected information is supplied free of charge to scientific institutions, where it is used to combat the spread of oyster diseases that could spell financial ruin for farmers and their operations. Bosch and The Yield are also teaming up on further applications for smart and more sustainable agriculture, where the focus is on collecting and analyzing microclimatic data. “If we want to be able to feed the world’s population in the future without destroying the planet, Ros Harvey founder and managing director of The Yield AgTech Solutions intelligent agriculture is the only answer,” says Ros Harvey, the founder and managing director of The Yield. New IoT solution for oyster farmers Oysters filter nutrients They are especially sensitive to changes in water quality. Influencing factors on growth: Water temperature Water salinity Water levels Climate change alters these conditions. Aftermaths: • Oysters are increasingly infected with dangerous viruses • Crop failures are becoming more common Sensors collect data Data is analyzed at a computer center Oyster banks Oyster farmer makes decisions about ideal harvest times Universities and research institutes are conducting research on viruses Benefit: Crop failures can be reduced by up to 30 percent. Bosch is supporting the Australian startup The Yield. sources:, Bosch Counting sheep ■ Herds may run, but they can't hide This summer, Telia Norway launched a first-of-its-kind pilot project where 1,000 sheep were equipped with NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) collars and tracked while on summer pasture. NB-IoT is a new cost-efficient communications technology that enables excellent coverage indoors, outdoors, and in the ground. It is ideal for things that run on battery or which only send data occasionally. Telia Norway and startup Nortrace have fitted the sheep with the modules to allow farmers to monitor each sheep’s location and state of well-being while they are on summer pasture in Rogaland on the southern tip of Norway. In the old days, at the end of the summer pasture, ten to12 shepherds would go to gather the sheep – and they usually found about 90% of them. The rest could have become lost or got stuck somewhere in the snowy highlands. With the new system, the farmer receives an alarm on his smartphone if an animal has not moved for a long time and may be in distress, and, at the end of summer, there will be Jon Christian Hillestad Head of enterprise at Telia Norway no more problems in finding the missing 10%. "This is a great example of how IoT and new 63