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Liam O’Callaghan

BY LIAM O’CALLAGHAN

Bayer and XAG share drone

Chinese company XAG has collaborated with Bayer as it demonstrated its crop dusting drone to an international audience

Bayer and XAG share drone

Credit: XAG

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Scientists and agricultural experts from around the world had a first-hand look at how the latest drone technology developed by XAG, in collaboration with Bayer, can be used to crop dust citrus trees.

Chinese company XAG, showcased it’s Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) fruit tree solution, which is based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 3D flight mode, at a demonstration in Hangzhou.

The demonstration was attended by Bayer’s crop scientists and experts from China, Germany, India and the US.

The all-terrain autonomous drone spraying technology was developed to resolve the challenge of applying pesticides and fertilisers on complex terrains, such as mountains, hills and terraces.

To highlight the efficacy of UAS fruit tree solution, spraying was conducted on a 1.5ha mandarin orchard located in rugged hills, where the mandarin trees are planted in uneven density and have grown to different heights.

It typically takes three days for three workers to manually spray the entire orchard for one time, by contrast, the field experiment showed that one drone could effectively spray half of the orchard area in ten minutes.

Prior to spraying, the drone autonomously flys over the orchards for centimetre-level mapping and 3D terrain modelling. This is followed by AI analysis, which recognises field edges and each fruit tree’s location and size on the 3D high-definition maps.

This, in turn, allows the drones to conduct precision spraying different types of terrains with each fruit tree only receiving its demanded dosage, without excessive waste of water and pesticides.

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