Project Everest

Maximising Drone Potential

My idea is that in order to maximize our efficiency and the effectiveness of the drone data, we need to begin taking advantage of the Drone Deploy app market, and consider alternate services which provide drone image analysis.

This post will break this idea down into 3 sections; firstly, the options currently available on Drone Deploy app market, secondly, how we can use the data that these apps provide, and thirdly, alternatives to drone deploy.

 

App Market

https://www.dronedeploy.com/app-market.html 

The Drone Deploy app market as it currently is, has the potential to provide a wealth of analysis, particularly for our agricultural purposes. The following is a list (with brief descriptions) of all available apps:

Free

  1. PDF Annotation Report – Generates a detailed analysis of the drone deploy map
  2. Airdata UAV Sync – Uses drone deploy log files to check drone health
  3. Cogniac – Uses advanced computer vision to detect specific objects within the drone map
  4. Side by Side – Compares 2 maps side by side

Paid

  1. Agremo Insights (90c/acre) – Provides insights into crop efficiency, plant count, plant health and sowing quality
  2. Tensor Flight (9c/acre) – Automatically detects objects and provides a count
  3. Aglytix Stand Analysis ($1/acre) – Analyses RGB images to determine gaps in the field and provides a report
  4. Farm Solutions ($9.99/acre) – Provides analysis that measures and tracks field/plant health over time and promises to improve plant health and yield 

Custom App

If we find that the current apps available do not fit our specific needs or that our needs could be better serviced by a custom app, there is the option to develop our own app and make it available on the app market for others to use and purchase.

 

Analysis

In order for us to be to provide effective and personalized advice to farmers, we need a data bedrock which is reliable and in order to create an automated smartphone application, we need this data to be easily integrated and transferred into our system.

I believe that of the above apps, the most valuable to FarmEd would be all the free apps to gain basic analysis of drone maps, ensure drone health, count objects and compare over time. In addition, the paid app “Agremo Insights” could prove valuable as the analysis is more in-depth and useful for our consultancy reports and app.

 

Alternatives 

At present we are using Drone Deploy for all our drone image analysis, however there are other products which can provide an equivalent service, and some which also sell a range of drones and camera sensors.

 1.         Sentera (https://sentera.com/ )

Sentera is a company which sells end-to-end solutions for agriculture, from a range of drones, to the appropriate sensors, and to a software that can provide detailed analysis. The drones available include modified DJI quad copters, a fixed wing drone, and two advanced multi-rotor drones. The sensors include a range of 4K gopro sized sensors, and a more advanced “sentera q” sensor. The software “agvault” handles color, NIR, NDVI and NDRE data, and tracks crop growth stages, weeds, compaction, storm damage and more.

 2.         Slantrange (http://www.slantrange.com/ )

Slantrange provides a platform for creating agricultural metrics, and in addition sells an advanced sensor to capture vital data: The software “Slantrange analytics” can isolate individual plants measuring plant population and weed density, pigment absorption, and cellular integrity, and a range of customizable data layers. The sensor is the “Slantrange 3P”.

 

IDEA

To summarize, my idea is that to gain useful data from our drone flights, we need to take advantage of the app market, and possibly consider the alternatives to drone deploy.

What are the thoughts in the community on whether the existing apps adequately service our needs, and whether Drone Deploy is the software we should be using?

Jimmy Bayssari Jul 22, 2017

Completely agree. I feel as though Drone Deploy was the initial choice due to recommendations made at purchase of the phantom 4. This is no reason to not explore other applications that could potentially provide better analysis.

Lisa Paisley Jul 23, 2017

My only thing is the cost of the other programs. I'm 100% down to explore other options because we all know that Drone Deploy has its issues but what other issues will come up with these alternate softwares?
Either way it shall be interesting to look into them some more.

Andrew Vild Jul 26, 2017

DroneDeploy was initially chosen for its ease of use and setup. We're definitely not wedded to the platform, but they are one of two of the best in the sphere. If you have high end computers to do the processing for you or a lot of Computer Science experience then it may be possible to do an in-house job.

Perhaps an experiment that could be done in Australia is testing of the different platforms and comparisons made to DroneDeploy as well as a cost-benefit analysis?

Users tagged:

Seth Coetzee Jul 31, 2017

An experiment involving cross-platform testing or at least more in-depth research into all the options as a cost-benefit analysis would be greatly beneficial in moving forward with drones in FarmEd! Now that we have established the value of drones for FarmEd operations in the B2B market, I think it's important that any further investment maximises our potential for big data by using the right drone and the right software.

Users tagged: