The group led by Osaka University researcher Takaaki Kasuga has created a circuit board sensor mostly composed of cellulose nanofibers.
The sensor will allow farmers to determine which areas of their vast farmlands need watering by transmitting a signal that changes based on soil humidity.
At this stage of development, the researchers say that most of the sensor will decompose in about 40 days.
The current model still requires an external power source to function and also contains minute quantities of metals that aren’t biodegradable.
The group hopes to overcome these shortcomings by the time the product is ready for commercial use.
Kasuga says in the future, these kinds of sensors will help promote Internet of Things technology in the field of agriculture, so farms can be managed more efficiently.
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