Title Design and development of battery-operated paddy transplanter prototype for SELCO Foundation
Timeline 2 months
Form to submit
Last Date for Submission 25th June, 2023

About SELCO Foundation:

SELCO Foundation (SF) seeks to inspire and implement socially, financially, and environmentally inclusive solutions by improving access to sustainable energy. SELCO Foundation’s key objectives are:

  • Systematically identify diverse needs of the poor, understand and define the role of sustainable development, poverty alleviation, and decentralised energy.
  • Create and deploy innovative solutions that positively impact the well-being, health, education, and livelihoods toward the alleviation of poverty
  • Foster the development of enabling conditions or an ecosystem through holistic thought processes in technology, finance, entrepreneurship, and policy.
    SELCO Foundation focuses on the nexus of energy for development, including well-being, healthcare, livelihoods, disasters, and so on.

Context of the Project:

Agriculture is one of the key economic sectors for the poor across the world, particularly in developing countries. Current challenges in agriculture are exacerbated by climate change, resulting in catastrophic economic and social losses to farmers. Innovations in the agricultural sector do not consider the needs of small and marginal farmers who have limited access to capital, need to diversify to be viable, and cannot take on increased energy burdens. With most farmers lacking access to machinery, increased access to inefficient machinery would result in increased GHG emissions.

Transplanting involves high drudgery and labour requirements, mostly women. Working on the field for prolonged duration is found to have permanent damage on health. Since the transplanting happens around the same time in the rice growing region, there exists a severe shortage of labour which in turn also makes the operation expensive. The existing transplanters are heavy, high capacity, expensive machines which don't cater the needs of small and marginal farmers. Due to the abovementioned factors, there is a need for efficient, small capacity renewable energy-based transplanter suitable for the small and marginal farmers. The existing root wash transplanter developed shows promising results during the initial testing phase but needs improvement in the seedling arrangement mechanism and transplanting depth. The machines need to be modified and tested for the above-mentioned reasons.


The objective of the project is to modify and develop a battery-operated root wash transplanter. The widely used existing walking type manual paddy double rows rice transplanter is needed to be modified into a battery operated with four rows transplanting mechanism. This machine is also expected to have a highly efficient transplantation with speed control mechanism, timer mechanism for transplantation.

Key Activities:


Phase 1: Machine Design.

  • Drafting the mechanical design of the 4 row transplanter mechanism based on the existing walking type manual paddy double rows rice transplanter
  • Drafting the electrical design for driving source:DC motor with battery sizing and charge mechanism.
  • Drafting the automated control mechanism: Designing of the timer mechanism for transplanting on the regular interval.
  • Testing with modified transplanter in any one of the geographies
    This is to study the effect of modifications done and compare it to data from the previous testing.

Phase 2: Development of the prototype

  • Development of 1st Prototype:Post the design stage and due approval process, development of the first prototype shall be initiated.
  • Testing of the transplanter: In both lab and field for the observations and performance assessment.
  • Optimization of machine speed and battery capacity as per the expected output required of the machine to transplant in one day
    Testing in different geographies and Preparing manual
    The Final prototype will be tested in varying geographies experimenting with different field conditions based on which a manual will be prepared which answers the following.
          Changes to make in land preparation based on the field conditions to ensure high            transplanting efficiency and smooth operation
    &nbs&nbs&nbs&nbs&nbs Troubleshooting for common problems
          Setting the machine for the field conditions and running it accordingly

Expected Deliverables:


  • Submission of draft 3D design of the modified transplanting mechanism.
  • Submission of all the machine sizing (Electrical, Mechanical and automation design)


  • Development of the prototype machine
  • Optimization report and revised design files after incorporation of the test observations.

Activities Objective 1 Timeline
Phase -1 Machine Design. 15 days (Month 1)
Phase -2 Development of the prototype 1.5 months (15 days in Month 1, and Month 2)


The proposal needs to include CVs of key personnel, organisational credentials, earlier innovative and development project details. along with detailed costing. Please include a Gantt chart showing timelines and dependencies as well. The proposal should include the following elements:

  A. Technical Proposal for Key activity 1 + Key activity 2
         a. Agency profile (Same for both objectives)
         b. Approach and, methodology,
         c. Tentative timeline of activities (Separate for both objectives)
         d. Short descriptions of other relevant projects done
  B. Financial Proposal
      The agency is requested to send a joint proposal for both Key activity 1 and 2 – with a break up of       activities as per each objective

Interested consultants / organisations, with relevant experience (please include samples and/or references of previous similar work as proof of experience) and based out of India are requested to reach out with a detailed proposal giving a brief on the methodology and the process they will uptake for this project, including budgets (with break-ups and explanation), timelines and milestones and submit proposal in below said Google Form on or before 25th June’23

For further clarification, please write to