Rise of the Drones
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Rise of the Drones
Investigating the future of unmanned aerial vehicles.
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Growing use of drones poised to transform agriculture

Growing use of drones poised to transform agriculture | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the trade group that represents producers and users of drones and other robotic equipment, predicts that 80% of the commercial market for drones will eventually be for agricultural uses. Once the Federal Aviation Administration establishes guidelines for commercial use, the drone industry said it expects more than 100,000 jobs to be created and nearly half a billion in tax revenue to be generated collectively by 2025, much of it from agriculture. Iowa, the country's largest corn and second-biggest soybean grower, could see 1,200 more jobs and an economic impact topping $950 million in the next decade.

. . . . 

Brent Johnson, a corn and soybean farmer in Calhoun County in central Iowa, purchased a drone in 2013 for $30,000 that is already paying dividends on his 900-acre farm. He's used the aircraft, which covers about 80 acres an hour, to study how yields on his property are affected by changes in topography. And last growing season he identified some areas where his corn stands were not strong enough, information he's going to consider in future plantings when he decides whether to replant or avoid the acreage all together. This year he's going to scout early for any problems and use the data he collects to help determine when to sell his crops.

 

"I'm always looking for an advantage, looking for how I can do things better," said Johnson, who also owns a precision agriculture company.

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GNG's curator insight, December 11, 2014 3:37 PM

Interesting article about new technologies in agriculture.

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The Rise of Green Collar Jobs

The Rise of Green Collar Jobs | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Tom McKinnon and Jim Sears in Colorado ... have developed a low-cost, remote control drone that takes multispectral images of farmland.

 

This technology saves farmers money because it is much less expensive than manned aircraft flights or satellite imagery while providing useful information about the health of their plots. These drones can also be fitted with infrared cameras that map the soil moisture content of the area; affording farmers the opportunity to correct dry conditions before they affect crop production.

 

You may think this technology sounds expensive, but it is actually very affordable and could be used in our own communities to monitor the health of larger, community sponsored agricultural plots.

From a DIY perspective, a drone similar to the one created by McKinnon and Sears could be made for less than $1,000. This is cutting-edge technology that is affordable on most budgets.

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UAS Attracting Interest From New Users but Still Prompt Worries, Speakers Say

UAS Attracting Interest From New Users but Still Prompt Worries, Speakers Say | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

AUVSI President and CEO Michael Toscano appeared alongside MIT's Missy Cummings to discuss the state of the technology. Integrating unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System will create more than 100,000 jobs, particularly in agriculture, Toscano said, and Cummings said the issue with integration is now more about psychological than technological barriers.

A commercial revolution will take place in agriculture, Cummings said, and the United States is already behind.

"Japan basically does all its crop dusting with UAVs. An entire country," Cummings said.

She predicted that another revolution, that of unmanned cargo delivery, is already taking shape in Afghanistan in the form of the K-Max unmanned helicopter, which now supplies cargo to deployed soldiers and Marines. 

....

Another ongoing and growing use of unmanned aircraft is for monitoring wildlife, their habitats and the poachers who are killing some of them in record numbers, said Carter Roberts, the president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund.

Groups like the WWF simply don't always have good information about what's happening on the ground in remote locations and have started using UAS to track animals, discover poachers and then follow them back to their traders.

Privacy issues rarely come into play, because the areas are so remote and the systems help give a small technological edge against the poachers, who are better funded and better equipped, the said.

"We do not want to document the demise of nature," but instead use these systems to get real-time information into the hands of governments who can help the wildlife, Roberts said. 

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Robo-Chopper Fights Wine Country Pests : DNews


California researchers at are teaming up with a Japanese vehicle manufacturer on a project to fly drone helicopters over Napa Valley vineyards to combat insect pests. The unmanned chopper — Yamaha RMAX IIG — has also been used in Australia as well, and farmers in Japan are also using it to spray and seed small areas, such as rice paddies, without affecting neighboring fields. A team at UC Davis recently ran a test flight in the Oakville district of Napa, and plans to expand, according to Wines and Vines.


by Eric Niiler

13 Jan 2013

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Brazil’s Homemade Drones

Brazil’s Homemade Drones | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

“It ends up demystifying this equipment, to show that it’s not only restricted for military use but also something of daily use,” says AGX Tecnologia consultant Jen John Lee in the basement of these homey headquarters.


Going against the trend of Latin American nations purchasing Isreali-made drones for drug-war policing and border patrolling, AGX uses only Brazilian technology developed at the nearby University of São Paulo and sees its target market in the nation’s growing agricultural industry and state “environmental police” forces tasked with monitoring illegal extraction of natural resources.


Brazil’s Federal Police is indeed implementing a fleet of Israeli-made UAVs along its porous frontier to monitor drug trafficking. But the São Paulo Environmental Police has other objectives. They will be the first team in the state to regularly employ unarmed UAVs to monitor threats in rural areas, such as deforestation and illegal fishing.


Taylor Barnes | Oct 18, 2011

latintrade.com

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Ag enters the Drone Era

Ag enters the Drone Era | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

When it comes to the potential for agriculture, Kansas State University precision agriculture specialist Dr. Kevin Price thinks the growth in the next few years “is gonna blow your socks off.”

 

“About 80% of the money that will be spent on the unmanned aircraft systems will be spent in the area of agriculture. There are ten times more applications in agriculture then there is in any of the other application areas,” said Dr. Price. “They’re predicting it’s going to be close to a 100 billion dollar industry by the year 2025.”

 

He said agriculture applications for drones in development include data collection on crop health and yields, nitrogen and chemical applications, spot treating of insects and disease, and much more. Data collection of field images by cameras mounted on drones within an inch of accuracy.

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Yes, There’s Such a Thing as a Good Drone, and This Is What It Does

Yes, There’s Such a Thing as a Good Drone, and This Is What It Does | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Farmers in Michigan will soon be using drones to better manage their fields, and hopefully to use less water, fertilizer and herbicides.

Via Steven Putter
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Steven Putter's curator insight, September 17, 2013 5:05 AM

A hammer is a object, like all other objects, i can use a hammer to kill you or use it to build you a house, the hammer itself never contain any value or ethics, this is true off all technology.

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NOVA | New Ways to Use Drones

NOVA | New Ways to Use Drones | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Here is one sign of the huge potential of drones: The University of North Dakota recently began offering an undergraduate major in unmanned aircraft systems operations.


For now, most graduates end up in jobs that support the military, but program head Ben Trapnell predicts that civilian uses will eventually far outpace those for defense.


An unmanned plane could fly over a field and send back pictures to show where pests are located or where crops need irrigation.


"Some of the big things [are] agricultural uses," said Trapnell. "We can get imagery to farmers a lot faster than having to wait for satellites to do the same thing." For instance, an unmanned plane could fly over a field and send back pictures to show where pests are located or where crops need irrigation.


Trapnell also foresees medical applications. "There's the possibility of flying organs from one place to another to get them there faster for transplants," he said. Drones may also be used to parachute medical supplies in remote locations, where planes can't land.


Utility companies could benefit from drones. Trapnell predicts they will one day patrol pipelines and power lines to monitor for problems. Small helicopter drones may fly close to wind turbines to make video inspections.


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Mallee biomass research employs quadcopter

Mallee biomass research employs quadcopter | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Researchers with the Future Farm Industries Cooperative research Centre are employing the UAV to take photos of mallee trees at their trial site in Narrogin, as part of the new Woody Crop Industries program focusing on mallee trees as a source of biomass.


CSIRO’s Richard Bennett says the images produced from the UAV will enable researchers to estimate the biomass yield from a plot of trees as well as test variables such as soil and irrigation to maximise production.


“The traditional way of doing things is to measure each tree for its length, width and height, then cut that plot down, weight it, and from that determine the ratio between a tree’s measurements and its biomass yield. With that ratio, we can determine the biomass yield for any given plot of trees that we have taken measurements for,” Mr Bennett says.


“It’s very labour intensive, requiring about two days to measure 1500 trees.


“What we do with the UAV, is take an aerial image of the plot and work out how many pixels have tree leaves in them. Once we know that number of pixels of the plot and have measured the trees, we can determine the ratio between how many pixels in an aerial shot and what amount of biomass will be produced.”


By Aaron Fernandes

06 November 2012 

sciencewa.net.au

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