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XAG and Bayer demonstrate drone spraying in China

Bayer and XAG demonstrated autonomous drone spraying technology in Hangzhou, China.

XAG showcased its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) fruit tree solution based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 3D flight mode.

Spraying on mandarin trees

To examine the efficacy of the UAS fruit tree solution, XAG and Bayer selected a typical citrus orchard in Hangzhou’s Jiande Town to conduct spraying on mandarin trees. The orchard covers a small area of 1.5 hectares but is located in rugged hills, where the mandarin trees are planted in uneven density and have grown to different heights. It used to take 3 workers 3 days to manually spray the entire orchard.

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Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG, together with Bayer's crop scientists and agricultural experts from China, Germany, India, and U.S., attended the joint convention, in which XAG showcased its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) fruit tree solution based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 3D flight mode. - Photos: XAG
Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG, together with Bayer's crop scientists and agricultural experts from China, Germany, India, and U.S., attended the joint convention, in which XAG showcased its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) fruit tree solution based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 3D flight mode. - Photos: XAG

3D flight modes

The field experiment showed that one XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS could effectively spray half of the orchard area in only 10 minutes. While Bayer’s experts had provided plant disease diagnosis and prescription, XAG utilised its newly released 3D flight modes – band, hover and spiral – to conduct precision spraying operation on different types of terrains.

The video below shows XAG’s Fruit tree plant protection solution (text continues underneath video)

Each of the fruit trees only received its demanded dosage, without excessive waste of water and pesticides. This was achieved through a coherent process from aerial surveying, 3D modelling, AI recognition to targeted spraying.

Centimetre-level mapping

Prior to the spraying operation, a XAG XMission Multifunctional UAS can autonomously fly over the orchards for centimetre-level mapping and 3D terrain modelling. This is then followed by cloud computing and AI analysis, which are implemented by XAG Agriculture intelligence (XAI) to recognise field edges and each fruit tree’s location and size on the 3D high-definition maps.

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The orchard covers a small area of 1.5 hectares but is located in rugged hills, where the mandarin trees are planted in uneven density and have grown to different heights.
The orchard covers a small area of 1.5 hectares but is located in rugged hills, where the mandarin trees are planted in uneven density and have grown to different heights.

Nearly 7 hectares identified within one second

According to XAG, nearly 7 hectares of fruit trees can be accurately identified within one second, with recall ratio and precision ratio reaching as high as 98.60% and 98.04% respectively. “Users can therefore easily capture a full image of the farmlands from different angles to ensure safer, more precise spraying during the whole flight,” states the company.

Also read: Bayer and XAG invest in crop spraying using drones

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