Science Technology

How Drone Technology Can Help Farmers Improve Agriculture

Photo: DroneDeploy

DroneDeploy’s Groundbreaking Technology

As an avid photographer, my uncle is the type of person to run head-first after a bear in the deep woods of Yosemite just for a picture. We all have that one friend, right? Two years ago my uncle received a present that changed his life: a drone. Although drone use is not allowed in national parks, my uncle’s first drone altered the way he thought about capturing moments and exploring the world from a different viewpoint, and that brings me to DroneDeploy.

DroneDeoply’s mission is, “…to make the skies open and accessible for everyone.” And with their revolutionary live mapping technology, DroneDeploy is changing the way business owners see and understand the world like never before. Commercial use of drones is on the rise, and DroneDeploy’s user-friendly platform allows businesses to improve their workflow on the ground and in office. Specializing in the industries of agriculture, construction, inspection, mining, roofing and drone services, DroneDeploy provides data storage, customizable tools and unlimited resources for business owners. We’re taking a closer look at DroneDeploy’s impact on the agricultural industry and how it plays a vital role in field intelligence.

Heirloom tomatoesPixie tangerines and Microgreens – they all come from the Earth, and quality produce starts with the growers and farmers that nurture the soil and tend to their crops. With DroneDeploy’s mapping technology, farmers can more efficiently problem solve and deliver bountiful harvests so that you can have the very best at your dinner table. That said, we’re turning it over to the experts at DroneDeploy to learn more about their revolutionary technology.

Q&A With DroneDeploy

Agriculture is one of the fastest growing markets in the commercial drone industry. How does your Precision Ag Package assist farmers with their day-to-day responsibilities?

DroneDeploy: The Precision Ag Package was designed with growers in mind. Its curated features provide everything ag pros need to generate aerial insights and boost efficiency in the field. DroneDeploy also integrates with the common ag software that growers use and gives them access to 70-plus apps. DroneDeploy has the first ever drone App Market that integrates with major industry leaders like John Deere, so they can fit drones into their existing workflows and reap the benefits of drone data.

Instead of doing spot testing — testing one area of your farm and extrapolating the results — our user-friendly software allows growers to examine their whole fields quickly. Real-time insights like Live Map deliver actionable information, meaning that growers can make the decisions that boost yield and minimize crop loss without ever having to leave the field. It also helps identify variations and problem areas with NDVI, VARI and more.

How do crop field scanning and GPS map creation bring innovation to the field? 

DD: Scanning a field on foot for problems is much like looking for a needle in a haystack. With DroneDeploy you can cover hundreds of acres in a single flight and pinpoint exact locations of stress using a drone map — such as disease or irrigation issues. Then you can use this map to walk to the precise location, ground truth the data, and determine what’s wrong. You can even attach notes, photos and annotations in the field with your mobile device to share with your agronomist or foreman. All in all, it’s improving efficiency in an industry where every second counts. By catching an issue quickly, you can save an entire crop and preserve your harvest.

What kind of information does the ag-specific technology provide for farmers regarding plant health and growth? 

DD: Growers can fly their crops to quickly measure plant health using built-in vegetation analyses using just an iPhone or iPad — all in real time. Once they spot troubled areas with these analyses, they can then use DroneDeploy to generate prescription application zones in their field, enabling them to target specific areas with pesticides or fertilizer to ensure a prosperous harvest.

By integrating with other apps, growers can count crops and determine the economic impact of lost plants using artificial intelligence (Agremo), identify damaged crops caused by severe events to support insurance claims (Skymatics) with cutting-edge computer vision, and more.

How does ag-specific drone technology cater to pre and post-harvest challenges and practices? 

DD: You can use drone data to help prepare for a growing season by assessing barren soil, reviewing historically challenging spots in the field, and mapping your irrigation setup. And using plant health indices you can precisely determine the right time to harvest your crop to maximize your yield.

What’s the benefit of using drone data and stitch crop imagery versus manned aircraft imagery? 

DD: In short, drone maps real-time data and higher resolution images. Farmers no longer have to wait days for aerial images as they used to in the past. Drones are also much cheaper to deploy and can integrate with more tools to streamline the whole process. While manned aircraft imagery is useful for analyzing vast amounts of terrain (think around 2,000 miles), the average farm in the U.S. is under 450 acres, and considering drones can fly 160 acres in less than 15 minutes, they are more than capable of mapping out farms across the country.

What are some of the ways farmers can utilize your DroneDeploy App Market to collaborate and grow their business?

DD: All the industry leaders — farming and otherwise — have tools on the App Market. From small business to enterprises, tens of thousands of drone users from more than 180 countries trust DroneDeploy to power their operations.

What each app does ranges in complexity. On the simpler end, there’s a Box integration that helps everyone in an organization collaborate and upload data to a Box account. On the more involved end, the John Deere app helps sync drone data to their MyJohnDeere account to produce variable rate prescriptions, analyze soil makeup, and review historical field data to make predictions for the coming year.

How does your partnership with Agremo and access to their crop reports, including Stand Count and Plant Population data, provide farmers with the best data for their needs? 

DD: Agremo is an industry-leading agricultural sensing and analysis platform. We’ve partnered with Agremo to bring drone crop reports to DroneDeploy, so our agriculture customers can create actionable reports that drive down costs and improve crop performance. These reports improve efficiency and eliminate error by leveraging the latest in machine learning and AI to provide easy-to-digest information, and actionable insights they can put to work to improve their harvest.

How do you see this technology revolutionizing the industry regarding finance and plant/crop prosperity? 

DD: It’s a much more efficient method of surveying a field. Not only do you eliminate the substantial finances needed for manned flight surveys, but the cost to purchase and operate a drone is relatively inexpensive — even under $1,000 — with hardware prices plummeting in 2017.

Live Map will continue to allow growers to derive more detailed insights on crop health, helping them spot diseased crops before it can spread further and whether it makes sense to replant a dead section of crops, for example. These quicker and smarter decisions will continuously improve growers’ plant and financial prosperity.

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Article by Jessie Yount for Sauté Magazine. Photography by DroneDeploy. Read the original article here.

Cravings Culture Humor Technology Video

How To Make Thanksgiving Dinner With A Drone [HUMOR]

A drone has many uses when it comes to capturing breathtaking video and images, but did you know that the robotic flying machine can also help you prepare Thanksgiving dinner?

Autel Robotics released a hilarious commercial that shows how to practically use a drone to cook Thanksgiving dinner. In the video, it’s used for various tasks like peeling potatoes, beating eggs, whipping various foods, and flying some holiday meat into a deep fryer.

Obviously, the results weren’t the most appetizing. In fact, it was a downright disaster.

The video highlights end with the fact that their new X-Star Premium model was meant to capture stunning 4K Ultra HD footage rather than slaving away in the kitchen. You can buy the drone for $699 online.

Seriously, drone owners. Do not try this at home.

Hit-Or-Miss News

This Drone Is Designed To Follow You Around With Beef Jerky

In 2014, TGI Fridays had a cute Christmas promotion that involved a drone flying around the restaurant, holding a mistletoe so guests can laugh, kiss, and be merry. That shit ended up bloody and dangerous, but drones have come a long way since that disaster.

Now we’re at a point where a drone can follow you around the house, conveniently holding food for you to eat.

Enter the JerkyBot, which was made by drone developer Andy Shen in a collab with Chef’s Cut Real Jerky. Shen created the bot so that it senses you and stays within arms reach, that way you can conveniently grab some jerky wherever you go.

As an illustration, almost-retired baseball player David Ortiz tested out the JerkyBot. Sure, Ortiz isn’t the best actor, and his lines sound forced, but once you get over that, it’s pretty funny watching him do everyday chores while having access to beef jerky right beside him.

The JerkyBot site has a section for updates and news, hopefully meaning this thing could actually go to market, and we can have our snacks follow us around.

Is this really the future of on-the-go snacking? Probably not, but we can dream about a day where we go Pokemon GO hunting without having to worry about where to put my burrito as I catch a Pikachu.

Fast Food News

Domino’s Wants To Make Drone-Delivered Pizzas A Reality Soon

That pie in the sky might actually become a reality soon, if Domino’s has its way.  The pizza company’s New Zealand locations just announced a partnership with a drone delivery service called Flirtey and are dead serious about making drone pizza delivery a real thing, according to Mashable.

The only problem is that “the man” is still keeping them down, as New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority has not approved of their service, yet.

Still, Domino’s is hopefull that they’ll be transporting their pizza through flight, as soon as this year.

This isn’t the first time Domino’s has flirted with drone delivery, as in 2013, they tested out the concept in the UK, attaching the pizza to what they called a “Domicopter” and watched the pie float away.

Whether this actually happens or not, we can only dream of a world where pizza is flown to us in a timely manner. Until then, be kind to your delivery boy and at least tip the poor kid.


Coming Soon: In-Office Coffee Delivery Drones

A Lab, an Amsterdam collective of media and technology start-ups, announced that they are working on a drone that delivers coffee.

You will place your order through a simplistic smartphone app which sends a signal to a coffee shop, presumably in your office building. The baristas set your drink in the drone and a stabilizer keeps your drink level as it floats to the docking station closest to you.

The drone uses both object and movement recognition to avoid bumping into walls or employees. A 3-D algorithm maps out the entire building, so the drone knows where docks are around the building.

The tech firm Purrontwerp & Skeyework is currently searching for investors to help them finalize the design and bring the drone to commercial market.

The Coffee Copter is currently being beta-tested in the A Lab complex and no one’s missing any limbs…yet.


Here Is Why You Should Make Out in TGI Friday’s This Christmas


Last month, we reported that a TGI Friday’s in the UK had a flying drone that hovered over customers with a piece of mistletoe. If the couple gets picked, they have to kiss in front of the entire restaurant.

Looks like the Friday-lovin’ restaurant chain is bringing this tradition to the US. Appearing in select restaurant locations throughout the country, TGI Friday’s will start piloting drones for the Christmas season.

Like their UK counterparts, the drones will hover over couples and put them on blast for all the restaurant’s patrons. Interestingly, whether they kiss or not is up to them. However, TGI Friday’s is rewarding those willing to publicly display their affection with a special gift card.

Not quite sure yet on TGI Friday’s system for determining who qualifies as a couple. Either the pilot will just pick two people at random or spend a decent amount of time watching people eat before sending the drone flying toward them.


TGI Friday’s Has a Drone with Mistletoe Attached, Promotes Awkward Kissing


Drones are everywhere these days. If they’re not used for work, or creativity, it’s definitely for shenanigans. Such is the case with TGI Friday’s. The restaurant chain is capitalizing on the drone craze, at least in the United Kingdom, by using the devices to interact with customers dining in.

In an effort to promote holiday togetherness, a Manchester TGI Friday’s is taking part in a Christmas-inspired project. A low-hanging piece of mistletoe will be attached to the drone and flown across the restaurant. It will hover over diners, putting them on blast and awkwardly suggesting a kiss. All of which will be recorded on a kiss cam.

We imagine whoever is piloting the drones will have loads of fun with this.

H/T Consumerist


Togo’s Promises Delivery Drones by 2024, That’s a Full Decade of Not Caring


We should all sue science fiction writers for emotional damages. For promising us food pills and video phones, flying cars and space colonies. Remember that Disney Channel space movie from the ’90s? Yeah, she wasn’t called Zenon, girl of the 24th-and-a-half century. She was Zenon, girl of the 21st century (as in, today — or at least within the next 50 years). And now sandwich chain Togo’s wants to go and promise flying sandwich delivery drones by the year 2024? Nice try, buddies. We’ll believe it when we see it.

Yesterday, the above image was posted to the Togo’s Facebook and Twitter, along with the following quote by Togo’s VP of Branding and Marketing, Renae Scott:

“Togo’s is ready to take this drone thing to the next level.”

This, of course, is after all the news we’ve seen these past couple of years about taco copters and sushi copters, which are already a reality.

Currently such technology is limited from widespread use, at least in the United States, due to Federal Aviation Administration restrictions banning unmanned commercial aerial vehicles, which are in effect until 2015.

Still, according to Scott, “Our drones will get Togo’s raving fans their favorite Pastrami Sandwich on the fly. Because when you’re craving Togo’s Hot Pastrami, you shouldn’t have to wait.” Except for, you know, the 10 years it’ll take them to implement the damn things, but who’s counting.

(Side note: if this drone isn’t called the To-Go copter, they’re doing it wrong.)