Drones have made the news lately for law enforcement uses and Intel’s grand displays at events such as the Winter Olympic Games, but another important application not in the public eye is in farming. Over the years agricultural drones have improved immensely, with greater ease of use, increased durability, and imaging sensors getting smaller and more efficient.
Drones equipped with multispectral imaging sensors can monitor crop health through running algorithms based on the amount of near-infrared light being reflected from the plants’ leaves. This allows farmers and agronomists to have a better understanding of the health of their crops. With more detailed information from agricultural drones, farmers can make better decisions, resulting in greater yields, which means more profits.
In addition to crop health sensing drones, heavy-lift drones can be outfitted to carry a liquid reservoir with a pump and sprayers for pesticide and fertilizer application. This flying, spraying drone can be set to fly autonomously after a preset targeted spraying area is selected. These agricultural drones use radar sensing to stay a set height above the crops for optimal spraying and to also avoid obstacles.
From field to laptop with agricultural drones
Drones can also be equipped with thermal imaging cameras to check on livestock or for farm surveillance. Agricultural drones will ultimately give farmers eyes wherever they need, providing them with a greater sense of well-being. From increased crop monitoring and analysis to crop-spraying drones, we will continue to see farmers implement drones into their operations.
Major drone vendor Dronefly wants to educate the public on the wide-ranging uses of drone applications. In its most recent infographic on agricultural drones, the company shared the current drone adoption rates, use applications, drone platforms, imaging sensors, and, lastly, the software. This look at the agricultural drone industry helps to illuminate the beneficial uses of agricultural drones and what products and software are available in the current market.
More on Agricultural Drones and Other Uses:
- During the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korean Robots Reflect the Geopolitics of Technology
- Drone Concerns Abate for Privacy, Rise for Safety
- A3: Robotics, Vision, and Motion Control Industries Set New Growth Records in 2017
- Webcast: 3D Vision Brings Real-Time Sensing to Robots
- Russian ‘Hulk’ Drone SKYF Goes to CES 2018
- Machine Vision Investments Eye Safety, New Apps
- Drones as a Service Are a Natural Extension of RaaS
- Autonomous Drones a Farmer’s Dream at TUS Nordics 2017