New OPTiM Agri Drone for pinpoint attack on insects
A new competitor in the agriculture market, the OPTiM Agri Drone, shows great potential with its unique capability for pinpoint and night attacks on insects. The result of a joint project among Saga University, Saga Prefecture Government and IT company OPTiM, the multicopter drone has been optimized for agricultural work and is currently being tested in Japan.
Multi-spectrum image analysis capabilities helps it to identify pockets of insects for which it can then do a precise, pinpoint attack on those areas with pesticides or other chemicals … and/or with a bug zapper attachment it can fly at night when insects are most active and “zap” them. The end result is a reduction pesticides used on farm lands.
With OPTiM’s geospatial mapping software “SkySight,” fields can be digitally scanned, and the resulting images can be analyzed to look for pest damage or other abnormalities. The Agri Drone can then apply pest control chemicals just to the locations where they are needed.
1) Precise spraying
Based on camera and position data analysis, the Agri Drone can deliver a targeted shot of pesticide to problem areas where insects are congregating.
2) Autonomous flight function
Flight over a pre-defined route, therefore significantly reducing the time required for operator control. The farmer can sleep while the drone goes about the work of killing pests.
3) Multi-spectrum camera support
Includes infrared and thermal imaging cameras
4) Insect killer attachment (see below image)
An insect killer attachment that does not use pesticide can be attached for night flights over farm land when insects tend to be very active.
The group has announced successful tests of the Agri Drone were undertaken with sweet potato and soy farm lands in Saga Prefecture, with the drone successfully finding and eliminating about 50 different types of pests, including moths, midge flies, and planthoppers.
The Agri Drone does compete with the likes of the DJI Agras and the Yamaha RMAX for agriculture spraying applications, however, with its pinpoint pesticide application capability and night hunting of insects without pesticide, the Agri Drone does have a strong value proposition.
READ MORE: Agras vs. RMAX agriculture spraying drones