Matheus Ladeia, a mechanical engineering student at UNIFACS was the undergraduate winner of the Innovative Ideas Award for the Dr. Farm Project, which focuses on improving pest control in coffee plantations. The award was created and is sponsored by the Foundation for Research Support of the State of Bahia (Fapesb). The winners were announced during an award ceremony held at the Hotel Fiesta.
For the third consecutive year, UNIFACS also won second place in this category for Pizzapp, an app created by mechatronics engineering student Newton Guimarães that helps to organize pizza deliveries.
Ladeia won a check for BRL 15,000, a trophy and a certificate, all delivered to him by Bahia Governor Jaques Wagner. Thrilled with the victor, Ladeia remarked that the idea came from the need to establish a monitoring system for pests that attack his family’s coffee plantation, located in Bahia's Vitória da Conquista.
For this, he developed a device that can analyze the different natural factors related to the incidence of pests of coffee. Among the variables the device measures are wind speed, solar radiation and the oxygen level in the air.
Data are collected at different points of the crop’s development and are sent to a central monitoring station that collates the information and indicates the possibility of disease in the plants. The result is sent via SMS to agronomists and producers, facilitating decision-making regarding the amount and type of crop protection that must be applied.
"Through an analysis of the data, the agronomist or producer can make more rational and effective use of pesticides, which means more savings and the possibility of having a more secure product," explains Ladeia. The prize money he received will be used to develop a prototype design.
The application created by Newton is already in full use and can be downloaded free of charge on iOS and Android versions. With Pizzapp, consumers can find the nearest pizza shop, listed by name and city and even a ranking based on feedback from users based on speed and quality of delivery. Newton took home a prize of BRL 10,000, which he will invest in the continued development of his business.
Manuel Barros, chancellor of UNIFACS, participated in the ceremony and highlighted the importance of the results achieved by the institution. "The performance reflects the quality of the education of our students receive and their commitment to create projects that contribute to Brazil’s continued development," said the chancellor.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.