Bengaluru scientists are using drones in the hope of planting a forest [Video]

Bengaluru scientists are using drones in the hope of planting a forest [Video]

Bengaluru scientists are using drones in the hope of planting a forest [Video]

Like minded individuals and scientists at the Department of Aerodynamics, Bengaluru, Dr H N Science Centre, and the Department of Forest are conducting a novel experiment—they are dropping seeds via drones in the hope of planting a forest.

 “It’s a dry area, so our interest is to bring back the rains. It’s not my idea alone. It’s a collective thing, but I am the convener or the head of that scientific committee,”  professor KPJ Reddy told Factor Daily.

The program was piloted by Professor KPJ Reddy and his colleagues on the banks of river Pinakini in the Gauribidanur area in Karnataka’s Kolar district on June 5 on the occasion of World Environment Day. They say that they hope to disperse seeds in over 10,000 acres for three consecutive years.
“We’ve chosen one sample area in which to fly and do the seed-dropping. Now we’re trying to make a more scientific study...the advantage with drones is that we have the image before dropping the seeds, and can geotag the path. Subsequently, once every three months we can fly over that area and see the impact of dropping the seeds,” Professor S N Omkar, another scientist involved in the project explained.

Adoption of drone technology to boost agricultural productivity is expected to grow in the future. According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), it will comprise of  80% of the commercial UAV market. However, leading authorities on the subject say that the technology will have to iron out its kinks over time.

In a report in The Wire, Suvasini Ramaswamy,  a researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California cited the following analytical and implementation challenges that
come with the usage of drones for agriculture:

  •     Outdoor use is highly weather dependent.
  •     Imaging can vary depending on sunlight and cloud cover although one can account for     
        ambient lighting conditions.
  •     Limited internet access and cellular infrastructure can make it harder to rely on 
        cloud-based computing services.
  •     Higher costs especially for small landholders in emerging economies.
  •     Limited flight times.
  •     Maintenance costs and resources.
  •     The need for skilled operators.
  •     Uncertain government regulation that need to be overcome before this technology can be widely
    applied.


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