This story was delivered to BI Intelligence IoT Briefing subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here. Switzerland-based agricultural tech Gamaya announced yesterday that it had raised 3.2 million in funding to combine drones and artificial intelligence to improve farmers' yields, according to Fortune. Gamaya was spun out of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a research university in Switzerland, and received funding from Nestle's Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Swiss venture capital firm VI Partners, and others. The startup uses drones equipped with hyperspectral cameras that can capture changes in water and fertilizer use, crop yields, and pests.
Japanese farmers are testing a new drone that can hover above paddy fields and perform backbreaking tasks in a fraction of the time it takes a labourer. The drone applies pesticides and fertilizer to a rice field in 15 minutes - a job that takes more than an hour by hand and requires farmers to lug around heavy tanks. Developers of the new agricultural drone say it offers high-tech relief for rural communities facing a shortage of labour as young people leave for the cities. Pictured is a farmer in Japan's Tome region trialling the new technology'Our ultimate goal is to lower rice farming costs to one-fourth of what it is now,' Hiroshi Yanagishita, President of Nileworks, the Tokyo drone start-up behind the technology, told reporters Thursday. Nile-T18 was recently tested in Japan's Tome area – a region that has supplied rice to Tokyo since the 17th century.
Bees are getting extinct due to variety of issues such as: pollution, pesticides, fungicides, climate change, etc. Lately Walmart applied for patent with the U.S. Patent Office for drone pollinators designed to fly from plant to plant, collecting pollen from one and transferring to other. Robotics is already being implemented in strawberry harvesting, fresh-fruit picking, data mapping and seeding. The autonomous tractors might also capture a commonplace. Recently, an interactive presentation at Colorado State University, shared the overview of future of farming by the presenters Raj Khosla and Tom McKinnon. Khosla discussed the 5 R's of precision agriculture: "at the right time, in the right amount, at the right place, use of the right input, in the right manner."
Farmers in China have caught up with the country's booming drone trend and started using unmanned aircraft to spray pesticide onto the fields. Not only that, a team of villagers in central China recently bought 30 of these bug-zapping vehicles in hope of turning it into a new business. Zhu Xiwang and his neighbours said they hoped their squad of agri-drones to could help them start a pest-killing service, according to Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People's Daily Online. This £24.8K flat pack folding home takes just SIX HOURS to build Pictures show the 30 drones lining up on a field, ready to take off. The unmanned aircraft, known by its model name MG-1S, is produced by Shenzhen-based Da Jiang Innovation, one of the largest drone manufacturers in China.