Moth control drone can kill pests without spraying
Moth control drones are patrolling the greenhouse. Drones are mainly controlled by smart technology and special cameras. Cameras scan the airspace inside the greenhouse, and when a moth is detected, the drone rams into the moth and shreds it with its rotors.
Cressel grower Rob Baan has recruited high-tech assistants to tackle pests in his greenhouse: palm-sized drones. The drone can pinpoint caterpillar-producing moths and smash them into pieces. "I don't want the products in the greenhouse to be sprayed with chemical pesticides," Baan said in an interview in a greenhouse equipped with LED pink light sources.
Devices such as LEDs can help vegetable seedlings grow better. Baan's company, Koppert Cress, supplies seedlings, plants and flowers to upscale restaurants around the world.
Baan is passionate about using various innovative technologies in the greenhouse. To add a nuisance-free measure of protection to his precious plants, Baan turned to startup PATS Indoor Drone Solutions for help. The company PATS is developing autonomous drone systems to serve as patrolling sentries in greenhouses. Drones controlled by smart technology, aided by special cameras, can scan the airspace inside the greenhouse. When it finds moths, it rams into the moths, shredding them with its sharp rotors.
The drone system was conceived by students at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, who were trying to use drones to kill mosquitoes buzzing in a room. Pesticide drones are just one part of Baan Greenhouse's pest control system, which also includes insects, pheromone traps and bumblebees. In order to avoid killing beneficial insects that are beneficial to the ecosystem, drones must use a certain degree of judgment.
Current drone control systems are smart enough to distinguish between good and bad creatures, Baan said. "You don't want to kill ladybugs, because ladybugs are the killer of aphids," Baan said. "The drone needs to be discerning. Good hornets are very expensive -- at least 50 cents to buy one. So I don't want the drone to kill the hornet by mistake."
PATS is still working on perfecting insecticidal drone technology. CEO Bram Tijmons said: "This product is still in development and it is performing well now. Our goal of improvement is that the drone can automatically remove the moths every night without the need for human intervention."
Baan agrees that insecticidal drone systems still need improvement. “The number of drones needed is too high right now,” Baan said. “If full control is to be achieved, the number should be reduced. I think it would be ideal if PATS could reduce the number of drones in greenhouses to around 50 in the future. ."