The drone is designed for premises, its design is very simple, but it is supplemented by clever algorithms and cameras. The device scans the space, finds the pest and changes the direction of flight so as to crash into it in the air and destroy it mechanically by grinding with its propellers.
In 2018, the technology was tested at Holsten Flowers, a company that specializes in growing gerberas. Testing of the new technology was successful, after which in 2019 several flower companies became interested in such drones.
In 2021, these drones appeared in the greenhouses of Coppet Cress, which grows aromatic herbs and flowers for the world's best restaurants.
European laws prohibit the use of chemicals in the cultivation of these plant species. Therefore, the destruction of pests is usually done manually or with the help of other insects. Now drones are also doing this.
According to the owner's calculations, about 50 drones will be needed to service one greenhouse. At this stage, this technology is very expensive, but in the long run its implementation can help reduce other costs.
Interestingly, the devices are able to distinguish between harmful insects and beneficial ones. They do not attack sundews or bumblebees, which also live in greenhouses. According to the owner of Coppet Cress, the company constantly buys beneficial insects for its greenhouses, and each bumblebee costs about 50 cents.
“Now the creators of the new technology are looking for technical solutions so that drones can recognize and destroy different types of insect pests. This will make them more versatile and allow them to be used more widely in crop production and floriculture, ”the statement reads.
Photo: AP Photo / Mike Corder