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A good DFG example in #agriculture

A good DFG example in #agriculture
http://www.popsci.com.au/technology/robots/prospero-the-swarming-farmbot-wants-to-show-you-the-future-of-agriculture

Comments

  1. Good one. I'd imagine that drones have a place in many agricultural contexts.

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  2. Certainly lots of potential. Question is if they will be used to drive Industrial Agriculture further or enable better efficiency in smaller, chemical free & hence more laborious farms in things like weeding & harvesting.

    I would hope for the second, but the first is more likely to have the research $$$

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  3. Your focus is always on the $$$ - but Nearmaps might answer some of that http://www.nearmap.com/

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  4. With the planet approaching a population of 7 billion, I think humanity needs all the help it can get, especially intelligent robotic help. Agriculture really is one of the more important uses for drones. Currently there are market speculators who use satellite images to estimate crop yields, but to really make a difference in food production, the actual farmers (especially small-scale and organic farmers) need that kind of data. As you pointed out, Leo, this precision agriculture also has benefits aside from yield, such as reduced stress on water sources and reduced use of pesticides.

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  5. Alexander Hayes If I am just focussing on the $$$ I am obviously not very good at it ... ;-)

    Just stating the realities that currently the big bucks in the ag-drone area are being spent by the chemical companies.

    But I am hoping that efforts such as this http://opensourceecology.org/gvcs.php will be successfully producing some Open Hardware. Similarly some low-budget efforts in countries from which you don't generally hear much such as: http://www.robotics-africa.org/design_challenge.html

    Matthew Schroyer  Yes - getting information to the local food producers is the key and dear to my heart. Combined with good mobile communicatons, open access to sensor data & the croudsourcing of the interpretation of results and distribution has great potential to change the lives of farmers and communities with healthier foods at a fair price for the producers. 

    There is already some early products out there: http://www.robotshop.com/cropcam-unmanned-aerial-vehicle-uav.html as well as some more 'adventurous' DIY efforts http://hackaday.com/2011/08/30/hunting-down-farmyard-pests-with-technology/

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