Agriculture Australasia

Meat & Livestock Australia and Aerodyne launch $5.1 million ‘Drone as a Silent Service’ R&D Program

Aerodyne Group and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) are pleased to announce today that they are engaging as partners to carry out a pioneering study into the role of autonomous drones and sensors within the Meat & Livestock Industry. Following extensive industry input MLA and Aerodyne have developed a schedule of nine key focal points for the first program of works.
  1. Fence Monitoring – Autonomous sensing and software to identify and categorise damage.
  2. Herd Location – Developing algorithms to measure herd behaviour, distribution and movements.
  3. Bull Tagging –  Utilising ‘Smart’ tags to ascertain bull location in relation to a herd.
  4. Weed Location – Autonomous sensing to identify weeds (particularly those hazardous to cattle), and software algorithms to provide advanced analytics and prescribed preventative data.
  5. Feral Control – Identification and analysis of pests and feral animals.
  6. Feedbase Monitoring – Developing algorithms to sense and categorise ground coverage and produce detailed pasture analytics and reports.
  7. Water Monitoring – Develop sensors and algorithms to autonomously measure tanks, troughs, rivers and dams. Identify dead stock, water diseases and bogged animals.
  8. Feedlot – A reporting solution which can make suggestions for water time, feed time, isolation and growth factors.
  9. Tagless ID – A system for reliable identification of non-tagged animals.
The collaboration fuses Aerodyne’s award-winning innovative drone-based enterprise solutions with the industry insight of MLA, a recognised leader in delivering world-class research, development and marketing outcomes for their stakeholders. The ultimate aim is to develop solutions that run as a ‘silent service’ – removing the need for producers to be tethered to the drones and other automated sensors which capture, analyse and report data.
The two-year project forms part of MLA’s wider ‘Unmanned’ strategy to develop and implement fully autonomous solutions for the benefit of their 50,000+ members in the Australian livestock-producer industry. It will look at the role of automation and value-chain technologies in supporting livestock health, crop management, farm productivity and real-time weather sensing.
In a market worth over $18 billion nationally, Aerodyne will be at the leading edge of an industry which is poised to embrace the latest wave of advances in automation and connectivity. Their expertise in unmanned systems, IoT devices and cloud-based reporting solutions has led to the development of iLAMS –  (intelligent Livestock and Asset Management System).
Aerodyne are delighted to announce our involvement in this innovative and disruptive project. Integrating drones and other autonomous technology into a smart, connected network of sensors gives us the opportunity to completely change the way that large-scale livestock and agriculture operations are managed. Australia is the ideal testing ground to develop new systems and build on the lessons that Aerodyne have learned from our extensive experience in providing commercial drone solutions. We look forward to working with MLA and their members at such an exciting time for both our industries.”
Kamarul A, CEO Aerodyne
MLA has three clear roles in the development and deployment of autonomous systems for the red meat industry.  Firstly to demonstrate what they can be used for, secondly to develop platforms, sensors and algorithms and finally to ensure that when all of these components are combined they offer a fully autonomous solution that we call a silent service.  Having producers at the controls of unmanned vehicles is not viable in the long-term, and it doesn’t add value to their productivity.  We believe that Aerodyne provides expertise in all these areas.
Sean Starling – General Manager – Research, Development and Innovation – Meat & Livestock Australia
About Aerodyne
Aerodyne is an international drone-based managed solution provider with offices in Australia, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and  Brunei. Their award-winning Vertikaliti and myPRISM software solutions have enabled them to move beyond Drones as a Service (DaaS) to become a fully-managed solutions provider.
Aerodyne operate on an unprecedented scale in the UAV services sector. In 2017 they conducted an industry-leading 35,000+ flights across a diverse range of projects around the world.
About MLA
Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd (MLA) is a producer-owned, not-for-profit organisation that delivers research, development and marketing services to Australia’s red meat industry.

Working in collaboration with the Australian Government and wider red meat industry, MLA’s mission is to deliver value to levy payers by investing in initiatives that contribute to producer profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness.

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