Who are we?
We are a group of engineers and technical experts currently going through the proof of concept for an agricultural intelligence startup to empower farmers around the world with drone-based precision agriculture services that fine-tune and maximize control over their operations.
Our value proposition is to help farms maximize productivity, product quality, work safety and convenience while minimizing business costs and losses, input consumption, waste and pollution.
Compared to traditional farming drone-based agriculture offers:
600 times faster crop scouting
50 times faster crop spraying
20% to 30% more accurate crop counting
30% to 40% less nitrogen inputs
9 times more terrain inspected
Reliable algorithm-based plot surveys free from error-prone subjective analysis
Accurate crop breeding research from historical analysis using big data
The impact of drone agriculture can satisfy 14 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Those are all SDGs except 14, 16 and 17.
What is precision agriculture?
It is an approach to agriculture where the crop field is managed by dividing it into zones which are in turn managed individually according to their needs, providing each zone just the precise amount of water, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and other inputs required to meet production goals.
Precision agriculture manages the field using georeferenced information on crops, soil and climate conditions. It makes use of emerging intelligent technologies including smart device apps, remote sensing from satellites, aircraft, drones and weather stations, robotic self-steering tractors and harvesting machines, IoT based sensor networks, and artificial intelligence algorithms.
What do we do?
We provide precision aerial crop scouting and analysis using drones equipped with high definition visible, multispectral and thermal cameras. Our drones take the equivalent of an x-ray of the field capturing visible and invisible infrared light reflected by crops, soil, water and other objects in the field.
AI algorithms analyze our field x-ray providing actionable intelligence before and during the growing season:
Irrigation and soil moisture, fertility and erosion
Crop yield, emergence, vigor, maturity and harvest prediction
Crop count, density and canopy size measurement
Early detection and control of plant stress, disease, pest and weeds
Prescription maps for precise application of inputs (seeds, water, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.)
Zonal and comparison maps to assess the development of multiple crop varieties under various conditions
Crop damage assessment for insurance claims
Our typical workflow includes theses steps:
1. Flight and data collection
Under the surveillance of a certified pilot our drones fly autonomously over the field and capture live video and multispectral imaging covering the extension of the crop field.
2. In-field data processing
The aerial images acquired are processed into a large composite picture called orthomosaic from which a reflectance map is generated from vegetation and soil analysis using vegetation and thermal indices.
3. Validation of field data
Without having left the field, the drone is sent back to those locations that show anomalies in the analysis. There, the drone takes pictures and video at close range. If necessary, these points of interest are walked to for inspection.
4. Detailed analysis
Once in the office, more in-depth and detailed analyses can be carried out and shared with other users, services and agricultural researchers.
5. Implementation of results
The intelligence obtained from the reflectance analysis becomes actionable as we turn it into monitoring, prediction and prescription maps and reports. These information tools allow farmers to accurately manage their operations tuned to the spatial and temporal variations of the crops and soil.
©2020 by Dronícola