Bio-inspired Micro Aerial Vehicle for sustainable pest control in horticulture
|Startdatum||1 juli 2022|
|Einddatum||31 augustus 2026|
Agricultural/horticultural products account for 9% of Dutch gross domestic product. Yearly expansion of production involves major challenges concerning labour costs and plant health control. For growers, one of the most urgent problems is pest detection, as pests cause up to 10% harvest loss, while the use of chemicals is increasingly prohibited. For consumers, food safety is increasingly important.
A potential solution for both challenges is frequent and automated pest monitoring. Although technological developments such as propeller-based drones and robotic arms are in full swing, these are not suitable for vertical horticulture (e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers). A better solution for less labour intensive pest detection in vertical crop horticulture, is a bio-inspired FW-MAV: Flapping Wings Micro Aerial Vehicle. Within this project we will develop tiny FW-MAVs inspired by insect agility, with high manoeuvrability for close plant inspection, even through leaves without damage.
This project focusses on technical design, testing and prototyping of FW-MAV and on autonomous flight through vertically growing crops in greenhouses. The three biggest technical challenges for FW-MAV development are: 1) size, lower flight speed and hovering; 2) Flight time; and 3) Energy efficiency. The greenhouse environment and pest detection functionality pose additional challenges such as autonomous flight, high manoeuvrability, vertical take-off/landing, payload of sensors and other equipment.
All of this is a multidisciplinary challenge requiring cross-domain collaboration between several partners, such as growers, biologists, entomologists and engineers with expertise in robotics, mechanics, aerodynamics, electronics, etc. In this project a co-creation based collaboration is established with all stakeholders involved, integrating technical and biological aspects.
Consortiumpartnersbij aanvang project
- Applied Drone Innovations B.V.
- Festo B.V.
- Flapper Drones B.V.
- Greenport Aalsmeer
- Kwekerij van den Bosch
- PATS Indoor Drone Solutions B.V.
- Pixelfarming Robotics B.V.
- Stichting Vertify
- TU Delft
- Aeres Hogeschool
- Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
- Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences
- Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
- Westfälische Hochschule