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Drone technology for disease detection in orchids

Dutch start-up Applied Drone Innovations is looking into the possibilities of automated disease detection in orchids (Phalaenopsis). And the first results look very promising.

According to Dutch website TuinbouwCommunicatie the drone succeeded in making images of the orchids in such a high resolution that stains and anomalies can be recognised.

The next step for Applied Drone Innovations (ADI) is developing the software to automatically detect diseases and anomalies.

Huge potential for drones in greenhouses

In order to investigate the possibilities of disease detection in orchids, ADI is cooperating with Dutch Phalaenopsis grower Hazeu Orchids. This company says drones have a huge potential in greenhouses. “By using drones instead of traditional scouting, we might be able to save 50% of time now needed for detecting and removing plants with diseases. But, in order for such a system to work properly, we need an automated disease detection system that analyses the images obtained by the drones.”

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The drone succeeded in making images of the orchids in such a high resolution that stains and anomalies can be recognised. - Photo: Applied Drone Innovations
The drone succeeded in making images of the orchids in such a high resolution that stains and anomalies can be recognised. - Photo: Applied Drone Innovations

High Precision Greenhouse Farming

ADI is a startup founded by 4 Aeronautical Engineering students from Dutch Highschool Inholland. They earlier received up to € 600,000 in grants for their 2-year ‘HiPer Green’ (High Precision Greenhouse Farming) research project to develop a drone system that can measure crop yields and quality, autonomous and with a high accuracy. Benefits for the nursery will be a better quality and better pest management.

The video underneath (in Dutch) shows the drone project with which the students won the Inholland Award.

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