According to the SAGA research project that funded by EU, the researchers start using low-cost robots and cameras, and applying robot clusters used to think about the power mechanism to perform crop weeding operations. These drone groups started with low-resolution inspections. Although there may be errors at the beginning, due to the cooperation between them, they can gradually produce maps that accurate to centimeters, and then the drone groups will decide for themselves which areas need more detailed scanning.
Farm cooperatives can even help farmers buy a group of drones on their own, depending on the size of the farm, and provide farmers with information on service and sharing. Each flight of the drone takes about 20-30 minutes. If it can combine the information of the ground sensors and satellite data, it can tell farmers how much nitrogen fertilizer and water they currently need in their fields.
Plant scientists at the French Agricultural Research Institute also mentioned that the cost of manufacturing IoT sensors will become lower and lower, and the amount of nitrogen fertilizers that farmland needs to add is increasing. This will not only increase the cost of peasants, but also cause pollution to the environment. However, in the future, if the nitrogen content of crops in the region can be displayed through sensors and satellite images, farmers can apply fertilizer and irrigation water more precisely. At this stage, the first operation has been carried out in the wheat field to collect relevant data.
In the spring of next year, there will be a group of quadrotor drones that start working on sugar beet fields in France. Drones will have the opportunity to maintain radio contact with each other and use the swarm algorithm to work together to create a map of weeds across the region. This will achieve precise and targeted weed sprays or mechanical removal of weeds on organic farms, help farmers save money, and reduce the risk of pesticide resistance. At the same time, spraying fewer herbicides will also bring environmental friendly protection benefits.