Project Everest

The robots are coming...from the Sky

by
Wade Tink
Wade Tink | Jan 16, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

Drone technology through the 'Phantom 3 Advanced' has the ability to do the following to the FarmEd Project: 
- Assess farm size very accurately (to 0.1m)
- Accurately survey 40 hectares of farmland every 25 mins (battery is current restriction)
- Provide clear photos of crop use and then use those photos to determine types of crops being farmed and numbers of crops planted (dependent on the crop)
- Assess water catchment data based on variables in ground elevation 

The benefits that can be provided to the end user and for scalability of the business are: 
- Enhancing Agricultural reports based on accurate assessment of land size, orientation and crop use
- Ability for FarmEd to assess land usage over large areas with minimal labour inputs thus increasing quality of Agricultural reporting and over/under supply of crops
- Assessment of implementation of Agriculture Report recommendations without conversing with farmers directly
- Recommendations for irrigation improvements based on elevation data
- Scalable solution to service delivery as information can be uploaded to the cloud and combined with manual input from Australia
- Clear potential data link with machine learning platform to improve Agriculture recommendations

Off-the-shelf software is available called Drone Deploy: www.dronedeploy.com/

In terms of the PE venture process this technology is for enhancing the value proposition to end-users and scaling the solution set of the business. It is not intrinsic to the value proposition.  

This technology is the result of experimentation initiated by Andrew Vild and conducted with the Malawi team. Experimentation will occur with FarmEd commencing this week as Jimmy takes the Phantom drone to Fiji. 

Encourage suggestions to further enhance Drone technology in the application of the FarmEd solution...

(Account removed) Jan 17, 2017

Could you potentially not only use the drone to map out whole farm area, but also plot sizes on farm? It would be beneficial to have each plot on the farm mapped out so that:
a. we know where all the crops are currently located/growing especially if consultancies are written back home in Australia
b. there can be a more detailed section on 'farm planning'
c. you can work out much more easily when it comes to crop rotations and explaining something like a 5 year crop rotation plan - because you could now include pictures from the drone and precise mapped out areas!

Reply 1

Andrew Vild Jan 17, 2017

Absolutely, Danica. You can zoom in quite closely and the operator of DroneDeploy software can manually plot areas on the map. This would mean you could section a plot of land into A, B, C etc to create a visual key of how it is divided up and how the rotation could/should work.

You can add photos of a GPS location for a different view point, think Googlemaps Street View.

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(Account removed) Jan 18, 2017

Excellent! That just opens up a whole new avenue for consultancies to work on Whole Farm Planning. Does it do videos as well?

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(Account removed) Jan 18, 2017

For anyone interested in drone tech for Farming, see https://www.sensefly.com/applications/agriculture.html for a high tech drone thats been made purely for precision agriculture.

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Nicholas needs Jan 19, 2017

This is awesome. there is an initiative over here in Cambodia called AgriBuddy that uses this plot mapping technology but allows the consultant or user to walk through their plot, imposing labor intensive duties for farmers on bigger land plots.
I'd be interested to see how this drone technology could also be used for assessing topography of the land? mostly due to outlining areas of water run offs that may not be noticeable on land to determine where leaching from soil or run offs from fertiliser/chemical applications could accumulate during periods of heavy rain

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