Jun. 11, 2020
Drone monitoring of crops to identify diseases and nutritional deficiencies in plants is no longer new in the brave new world of agriculture technology.
But a fully automatic sensor capable of evaluating, one by one, the fruits of each tree in an orange grove, making crop estimates, detecting diseases and calculating crown volumetry is the promise of Adroit Robotics to increase productivity and reduce costs in up to 20% in citrus, with applicability in the future for other crops, such as coffee, apples, grapes and fruits in general.
With LeafSense technology, Adroit Robotics, a Brazilian startup, combines advanced sensors, computer vision algorithms and machine learning to analyze large volumes of high-resolution images and help farmers make decisions.
According to the developers, the technology will represent, in addition to the immediate cost savings, productivity gains for each harvest. With accurate and continuous information, new management protocols can be adopted, there will be a reduction in the time spent on operations inherent to the activity and great optimization of the workforce. According to economist Fábio Terracini, one of Adroit's partners, with LeafSense, this work is done through sensors embedded in agricultural machines or implements on the farm itself, without the need for human intervention and extra cost, as it takes advantage of the activities already programmed. “The fruit count reaches 93% efficiency and the calculation of the average diameter is less than two millimeters in deviation,” he revealed.
"Cubicagem", calculation of the volume of the orange tree canopy, is also another possibility of the equipment, and allows the correct dimensioning of the chemical pesticides in the sprayings, with a reduction of about 15% in the use of the inputs, in addition to environmental advantages. “These are important attributes of LeafSense, but they are not the only ones. It also detects flaws in the orchard, makes tree counting easier, identifies vines and other weeds, indicates anomalies in fruits and leaves, separates ripe and green fruits, calculates fruit diameter and allows for creating a ripeness index,” he says.
The state of São Paulo, which holds about 80% of Brazilian orchards, with about 400,000 hectares of orange crops, is the company's main target market at the moment. The estimate is to reach 100,000 hectares monitored in up to three years, through its sensors made available to contractors under lending. Internationalization and expansion into other cultures are also part of the company's plan.
The original Portuguese version of this report is from GRUPO CULTIVAR.
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