Spero Analytics is an AgTech startup based in Toronto, Canada. Our goal is to generate actionable data insights to help smallholder farmers make better decisions and adopt practices that are conducive to sustainable agriculture and greater productivity. We achieve this by collecting high-density, realtime data on soil moisture in farms using a wireless mesh network of sensory nodes which can provide farmers and other major actors in the agricultural data space with valuable insights on crop calendaring, water management, pest and disease susceptibility, and crop selection.
Our sensory nodes are fully modular, capable of measuring a number of different environmental parameters, including soil moisture, as well as ambient weather conditions. Each node is equipped with a microcontroller and a LoRA module which transmits sensor readings from one node to the next over radio waves. A server unit serving the network receives the data, parses it, and then passes it on to the cloud where it is made available on spero.ag or to farmers via SMS text messages. Since the network is self-healing, any single sensory node could go offline without crashing the entire network, lending this system well for applications in remote communities with limited road access.
Mesh networks can be adapted for use with any type of sensor (and any number of them), and can therefore help facilitate data collection on a scale that until lately was seen as too ambitious. We hope that, starting with our soil moisture mesh network, we can expand to offer governments, NGOs, and a diverse array of industries comprehensive data collection solutions that can help them make informed decision using timely, context-specific, and curated data.
Spero Analytics was recently awarded the USAID Data Driven Farming Prize, a challenge that focused on helping farmers in Nepal use data to improve yields.