Drones & Robots – New Technologies in Agriculture

drone volandoSo far cropping systems have advanced considerably, in the coming decades there will be radical changes. One of the additions as a working tool are “drones“, small ‘unmanned’ planes or UAVs, which are already being used along with “robots” with different shapes and functions as well as many new tools and technologies that will contribute to the development and implementation of a new “agriculture”.

In this short review we want to present numerous initiatives, projects, tools and technologies being developed and even tested or implemented in different parts of the world, including Spain, because we think that surely many of you will be excited and interested knowing deeply these innovations.

VineRobot, the sensational tech gadget set to revolutionize the wine industry will be released in 2016, and will be a terrestrial robot unique in its characteristics, equipped with non-intrusive sensors capable of obtaining and transmiting the vineyard state with precision never before achieved. The robot will be able to precisely determine what vineyard areas should be watered and the quantities, positively influencing the quality of the resulting wine and obviously saving water… It is developed by Televitis Group, University La Rioja (+ info).

Drones for the diagnosis of nitrogen in corn: drones are used to detect nitrogen fertilization needs of the crop. The system analizes aerial images obtained from the drone as it flies over crops, thus allowing the setting of an optimal fertilization methodology.

ROWBOT is the robot that fertilizes the cornfields in the United States. Rowbot is a standalone machine, able to apply the right amount of fertilizer when the crop needs it most, thus avoiding the use of tractors and also reducing the amount of fertilizer product. Use of the robot also manages to reduce the amount of nitrogen with the consequent benefit for the environment … Powered by ROWBOT & CARNEGIE ROBOTICS (+ info).

Drones: an agricultural revolution from the air. Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) are using their first UAVs to help farmers maximize yields by improving nitrogen and water management while reducing the environmental impact of nitrate leaching or nitrous oxide emissions.

robot solarA robot “fed” with solar energy to grow vegetables. Named Ladybird , the robot that through its cameras and sensors could analyze moisture, perform soil analysis, check the plant nutrients, detects pests levels or alert to the presence of weeds among other parameters.Ladybird is a project developed by the University Of Sydney, Australia. (+info).

A robot to pick peppers in greenhouses it’s the new greenhouse ally. The University of Wageningen (Netherlands) has developed an entirely independent robot able to pick the peppers that have reached their optimum maturity in greenhouses. The location of the peppers takes place through two high-tech cameras equipped with sensors that get all the necessary information, including three dimensions data that allows the robotic arm to be placed in the exact position for collecting the pepper. The robot has been successfully tested in a commercial greenhouse (+ info).

A farmer robot it is ready to improve crop production. The National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA) of Argentina has created a robot with artificial intelligence for greenhouses, which seeks to improve intensive crop production through efficient management of resources and a proper planning. It has the ability to make 3D maps, navigate autonomously over the greenhouse area, plan the necessary activities and/or fertilize … including, in the near future other actions such as cutting, trimming… (+info).

Drones are the new system to monitor weeds in crop fields. An international study led by the National Research Council (CISC) has developed a system that detects the growth of weeds in field crops by the use of UAVs. The system and its additional equipment generate multispectral images with ultra-high spatial resolution that combined with the use of remote sensors that capture the visible and near infrared spectrum allows, by using different image analysis algorithms to differentiate weeds from crop plants. Weeds in crops compete for light, space, water and nutrients to crop plant causing major losses. The usual way for controlling  weeds in agriculture today is the application of herbicides, not only in the stands in which herbs are distributed, but in the whole field. Up 70% of the field does not need the herbicide treatment, so applying pesticides widely causes unnecessary costs and a high environmental impact…

drone agricultura de precisiónIn IDEAGRO, we are aware of the great potential and possibilities that new technologies and UAVs can bring to our sector and industries and that’s why we are currently trialing with drones for crop monitoring and evaluation, farms surveillance, plagues and weeds detection, etc… We think that knowing and understanding these tools and techs with their management and possibilities are key elements. This is why we will continue actively working to incorporate the latest technologies and advances in our business methodology… being our main objective satisfying our customers’ needs while ensuring a more sustainable agriculture and healthier crops. If you want additional information, contact us at info@ideagro.es or tweet us @IDEAGRO.