The agritech startup, TartanSense is trying to decipher problems of the agricultural sector which occupies 60 percent of the land. It contributes to only 15 percent of GDP. TartanSense is developing robots for small farms using Artificial Intelligence (AI), computer vision, and robotics to assemble precision sprayers. The robots will help save costs and flee less chemical residue on fruits and vegetables consumed. TartanSense develops AI-powered robots to detect diseased plants and weeds. TartanSense is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Jaisimha Rao is the Founder of Tartan Sense.
TartanSense founder Jaisimha Rao, while working on his family’s coffee plantation, discovered the lack of data-driven decision making on the field, and thus started his work on TartanSense to bridge this gap.
“We are democratizing technology to small farm holders that have historically been available to large farms in the west by focusing on affordability and portability,” said Jaisimha Rao, founder of Tartan-Sense.
TartanSense’s first product is BrijBot, is a weed spraying robotic solution for smallholder cotton farmers. The product reportedly has the potential to reduce weed costs by up to 70 per cent.
Brijbot is an AI-driven 250kg robot that identifies weeds from cotton and sprays herbicide with 98 percent preciseness, which helps in effectively de-weeding cotton farms. TartanSense has survived to go from the pinnacle to the first iteration of their product in less than a year.
Overcoming the Roadblocks
Through TartanSense, farmers can use herbicides and pesticides more sensibly. The startup has administered product demos and generated services to several farmers in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra so far. Over the last two years, the startup faced multiple obstacles in accessing the manufacturing ecosystem. The team had to import a few elements due to the absence of local manufacturers which caused delays in their production cycle. Though TartanSense was bootstrapped from 2015 to 2019, it later raised funding from venture funds.
TartanSense deploys Brijbot in a pay-per-use service model implicating farmers per acre of de-weeding. This allows farmers to start their mechanisation journey affordably without having to buy massive capital assets.
TartanSense is struggling on launching a robot for seeding and harvesting shortly and will also be authorizing its energy towards expanding its evidence into geographies outside of the country. The startup claims that the pandemic has precipitated the need for robots owing to the return of wandering laborers to their homelands.