The global population is increasing by over 80 million annually. With such a massive and rapid increase in population, it’s only rational for people to question the capacity of the current system to ensure food security in the future. According to various estimates, the human population will cross 8 billion in the next decade, this means a massive one billion more mouths to feed. All of this is going to be a massive challenge for the food industry, which has already started preparing itself for future challenges.
Few challenges that the food sector has to overcome to ensure future food security includes, allocating enough space to produce food, as well as, attract enough manpower to do the jobs. Both of these problems demand radical technology solutions. The key is increasing the per acreage food production by adopting the latest technology and implementing scientific solutions in the agriculture industry. Whereas, for the availability of manpower, we may have to look above the sky.
Enters the miraculous flying robots – AI Drones…
The agriculture and food industry isn’t new to implement technological solutions for increased efficiency. The industry has already incorporated various technological solutions like smart robots to pick harvest or pick out the weed. Similarly, for years’ ranchers have relied on biometrics to automate the delivery of information about livestock. However, with the advancement in technology today the agriculture industry is looking towards the sky to come to its rescue and help the industry get prepared for the massive surge in demand for food. AI drones are already taking their places across the vast agricultural landscape in the USA and elsewhere, as scientists continue their research to come up with even better and more comprehensive technological solutions like computer vision to ensure future food security for humans.
AI Drones – Humanity’s Potent Hope against Starvation!
Drones which are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have grown massively from their humble beginnings. These flying robots were first introduced as military vehicles that were tasked to spy on enemy targets during World War II. Over the decades the technology matured greatly and become one of the favorite photography tools for enthusiasts. Moving on, it slowly made its way into various other fields like land mapping and giving advertising.
Today, drones powered by disruptive technologies like AI and computer vision are taking up more aggressive roles across industries. In the context of agriculture, AI drones are revolutionizing the traditional methods of agriculture. With their unique ability to take aerial images by using AI image processing software, these were first introduced in the agriculture sector as reconnaissance and land mapping tools, however, today these are used for more active roles like harvesting, seeding, crop health monitoring, and others. The use of programmable AI drones is empowering farmers to significantly improve the quality and quantity of their produce by adopting advanced methods.
1. Crop Health Monitoring
The rapid uptake of drone technology in the agriculture sector has also attracted the interest of many tech companies. These companies are experimenting to manufacture more powerful and capable AI drones capable to take on a much greater role in the agriculture sector.
For instance, Folio3 has been constantly involved in the development of agricultural AI drones. These drones come with fully automated and programmable systems that can be used by farmers to monitor crop health, soil fertility, as well as, perform various other tasks.
By integrating drones with AI and computer vision technology, farmers are using various imaging sensors to scan through the entire field and monitor crop health regularly. This helps them to identify any potential issue that may harm the quality and quantity of produce. By utilizing Near-infrared and thermal sensors, AI drones are able to send real-time crop health estimates to farmers, keeping them updated with the health of the crops.
2. Planning Harvest
Crop health monitoring isn’t the only area where drones are preparing the farmers for future produce. AI drones are also actively being used to plan crop harvesting for future production. Using the 3D mapping functionality offered by AI drones, farmers are able to collect crucial information regarding field geography and soil composition. All of this information helps farmers to identify the ideal areas to plant their next produce. You can also transcript video by using google speech to text service by folio3.
3. Planting Seeds
To go even one step further, AI drones are challenging the way traditional seeding is completed by farmers. Tech companies are experimenting with modern AI drones that are capable of planting the seeds on their own. This won’t just reduce the cost of planning by over 80% but also significantly increase the efficiency of farming without any additional manpower. The latest breed of AI drones come equipped with smart pod shooters, which are used to launch seeds and nutrients into the soil. All of this leads to much faster, accurate, and efficient farming practices. According to one research, by automating the seeding process, the rate of planting seeds may reach up to 800 plants hourly, which is simply impossible for farmers to achieve otherwise.
Moving from planting, AI drones are also excellent tools for taking up the crop spraying role. Once again using powerful AI technology and powerful sensors, modern drones are able to scan through the vast area of fields and spray the precise amount of fertilizer, and water where it is needed more. According to research, AI drones for spraying purposes, won’t just increase efficiency (estimated to be as much as 5 times as compared to using traditional farm machinery); but also save a lot of money with precise spraying practices.
All of these capabilities and the potential of AI drones clearly shows that we are on the verge of an agricultural revolution where technology-powered flying robots will take over our agricultural needs and help save humanity from starvation. As the world population continues to increase at an alarming rate, scientists and researchers are making desperate attempts to develop more robust and futuristic technologies to sustain food supply for the future generation. The good news is that many tech companies are actually working for years to mature the technology and help meet the demand for future food security.