MACUNGIE, Pa. - For 16-year-old Neil Deshmukh his rides are a break from steering through the hyper competitive world of hi-tech.
The Moravian Academy senior is a winner of the 2019 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Neil was named for his app Plantum AI.
Inspired by a visit to a farm in India where his grandfather worked, Neil's off line app helps farmers ID crop disease, then relays the information to an area university where experts can treat the issue.
"There have been 1200 crop disease instances," Neil said.
We first met the teen two years ago as he was developing the app. Since then Neil's tech has also caught the eye of MIT, where he just presented his research papers.
The award comes with $10,000 that Neil hopes can be used to connect more universities.
"I feel really proud to be a part of it. At this point it's the entire community that is built around PlantumAI that I'm most proud of," he said.
And Neil put his code online, so any nonprofit can use it for free.