Winner of the 14th Session 2022 Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovations.

The red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier) is the worst pests for palm trees in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf State Region in particular, and wherever there are palm trees available in the world in general. When the infestation with this insect is discovered, usually it is too late for recovering the plant. The goal of this work was to develop whether RPW pest in palm trees could be detected at an early stage by monitoring the sound produced by the larvae while eating and boring and the smell present inside the infested trees from the first day of hatching. Normalized gas and sound sensor signals, infected trees odor and sound samples were separately and simultaneously processed using semiconductor sensors algorithm techniques. With normalized gas and sound samples, RPW infected palms could be distinguished from the healthy ones. The performance of classification models are based on RPW infestation whatever the number of larvae, whereas those based on the treatment samples are collected. This new device demonstrates that the technology has great potential for use as an effective RPW early stage pest monitoring method.

The Palm Guard has multiple wired sensors can connect to eight (8) multiple sensors, 2 MEMS microphone sensors and 6 gas sensors, can be connected and working at the same time. It has wireless communication module to send messaging to the farmer or to the visualization control room. The Palm Guard system uses sensing technology with AI & ML attached inside the Palm trees to detect the new born larvae, starting from 1st or 2nd week in the early stage. The screen will display a notification if the tree is “healthy” or “infected”, or the LED light indicator will turn “green” for healthy trees and “red” for infected ones.
This is a small sensing device to be kept in the Palm Trees to protect the trees from any attack that might occur by newborn larvae in the future after we make sure that the Palm Trees are not infected after testing if the tree is healthy.
For the testing methodology of the Palm Guard which is similar to human body ECG concept, it is used for testing the Palm Trees if infected; if not two sensors are inserted at the bottom and at the middle or top of the trees for real time testing.

We bring a solution with 4-in-1 technology digital Micro-Electromechanical System (MEMS) devices and four methods of detection which uses odor, sound, temperature and humidity sensors in one device to identify and detect the RPW in real-time. The device is programmed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) electronic digital gas and sound MEMS sensors adapted to the same gases produced by the larvae to capture the natural odor from one side of the device and sound sensor on the other side of the device, and to detect the noise of the larvae while eating and boring hole that had already been learned by AI & ML. The tip of the device’s enclosure has an opening for air and sound to pass through the device. The method for sound and odor detection is by placing the gas and sound sensor device inside the trees about 15cm to 30cm, if needed, to be able to identify and recognize the odor if the palm tree is healthy or infected and to detect a similar sound produced by the larvae while eating in the early stage.

The 4-in-1 digital device detection system will give alert or notification to the palm owner once there is a detection of larvae noise or infected odor; and the red LED light of the device will remain blinking to identify the infected Palm Trees, sending wireless communication protocol alert to the concerned Authority.

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