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Sony joins forces with 4 agtech firms to create farming solution ecosystem

Drones Made Easy, BirdsEyeView Aerobotics, Rantizo and Progeny Drone Inc. integrate with Sony for more efficient monitoring, planting and spraying.

Sony Electronics announced an expanded ecosystem for its newly enhanced Smart Agriculture Solution with leading AgTech providers. The system is being integrated with farming solutions from Drones Made Easy, BirdsEyeView Aerobotics, Rantizo and Progeny Drone Inc.

High-resolution drone imagery combined with AI

Sony’s Smart Agriculture Solution supports day-to-day crop management by collecting and analysing data on growth and health status. Version 2.0 combines high-resolution drone imagery with AI for a more accurate and efficient approach to plant counting and analysis.

Sony will host a webinar with Drones Made Easy on March 31st at 1pm EST that will discuss how the company’s stand count solution quickly lets users review an entire field to evaluate replanting needs.

Drone-based remote sensing solution

“Our team thoroughly researched the various needs for a drone-based remote sensing solution with some of the top agriculture companies, researchers and universities,” said Theresa Alesso, pro division president at Sony Electronics. “That feedback was incorporated into the recent upgrade of Sony’s Smart Agriculture Solution and is the basis for the providers selected thus far for this expanded ecosystem. These integrations provide comprehensive, new ways of working for today’s growers that will increase yield with far greater efficiency.”

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Version 2.0 adds Sony’s imaging and AI-based technology for stand counting. - Photo: Sony Electronics
Version 2.0 adds Sony’s imaging and AI-based technology for stand counting. - Photo: Sony Electronics

Stand counting

Version 2.0 adds Sony’s imaging and AI-based technology for stand counting. Stand counting allows growers to assess the plant establishment, enabling replanting decisions to be made earlier and with greater accuracy. The enhanced solution consists of a drone-mounted multi-spectral sensing unit and Fast Field Analyzer image analytics software for in-the-field crop management, monitoring and insights. The Version 2.0 update is designed to allow growers to precisely and easily analyse large areas.

Who are Sony’s partners?

San Diego-based online and retail superstore, Drones Made Easy, developed flight planning software, Map Pilot, a leading photogrammetry data collection app in the App Store. Map Pilot AG is a new app that adds optimised mission planning and flight control for agricultural specific tasks. It takes advantage of Sony’s new stand count feature. Map Pilot AG collects data that is optimised for Sony’s MSZ-2100G multispectral camera for the most accurate results possible.
Andover, New Hampshire-based drone manufacturer BirdsEyeView Aerobotics developed a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone, called FireFLY6 PRO. This drone can cover up to 600 acres in one flight. The drone is well suited for various applications, including mapping and survey, agriculture and aerial inspection. The Sony Smart Agriculture solution has been integrated into the FireFLY6 PRO with custom, vibration-isolated mounts for Sony’s MSZ-2100G multispectral camera. This provides FireFLY6 PRO operators with the benefit of Sony’s advanced real-time vegetation analytics.
Rantizo is an Iowa City based AgTech company that uses drones to deliver agriculture inputs in field precisely when and where they are needed. The Rantizo platform integrates with field imagery data to prescribe and precisely deliver liquid and dry solutions using targeted drone-based agricultural spraying. Rantizo can deploy multiple drones to deliver same-day agriculture inputs based on the data created and processed by Sony’s Smart Agriculture Solution. Sony’s solution provides the imagery on areas in need of spraying, and the Rantizo system sprays only the designated areas.
Purdue University-affiliated startup, Progeny Drone Inc. has created Plot Phenix software that converts aerial crop photos into useful information for plant breeding, crop modeling and precision agriculture. Plot Phenix converts raw drone imagery of outdoor small plot research trials into custom-labelled plot-level metrics of plant growth and health at the field’s edge without internet. The integration of Sony’s Smart Agriculture Solution with Plot Phenix means agronomists can collect metrics with streamlined operation such as capturing images without time-consuming calibration target panel use or uploading hundreds of images to the cloud-based on field edge processing system.

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