This system is able to find date trees and identify fruit arms to dispense pollen from a custom-made pollen dispenser attached to the drone.

About

Automated Drone Date Pollination System

Tech ID: UA19-026

University of Arizona researchers have created a drone technology that uses remote sensing, image recognition, unmanned aerial system, machine learning, data analytics and industrial design to eliminate the intense labor needs in date tree farms. The system will be able to find date trees and identify fruit arms to dispense pollen from a custom-made pollen dispenser attached to the drone. The drone will also be able to locate mature flowers and differentiate the younger ones in order to get the most pollen.

Background:
Pollinating date trees is physically demanding and very expensive. Date trees are currently pollinated manually and cost upwards of $8 dollars per tree. The date agriculture business is largest in the Middle East, specifically Egypt, but there is also a large presence in California and the Southwest United States. The current practices of date farming do not yield as much as possible, especially in the Middle East. This solution would reduce labor and increase overall cost savings.

Key Benefits

Reduces the amount of physical labor required for pollinating date trees
Increases efficiency
Reduces energy cost
Reduces labor costs of manual pollination

Applications

Date tree pollination

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