AirRails adds Vision Based Obstacle Avoidance for Crop Sprayers

AirRails adds Vision Based Obstacle Avoidance for Crop Sprayers

UAVenture has partnered with SUIND to bring an advanced computer vision based obstacle avoidance system to AirRails and drone manufacturers. SUIND’s system will become a core part of the AirRails autopilot and will bring crop spraying and seeding operations to the next level, while reducing the effort on the part of the owner/operator.

SUIND’s vision system has been integrated into the AirRails autopilot during 2020, to bring the power of computer vision technology to the crop spraying industry, allowing drones to autonomously detect and avoid obstacles during a spraying mission. In addition, it also provides centimeter-level precision independent of GPS, significantly increasing accuracy, reducing drift and providing resilience to GPS failures and glitches.

More importantly, the system has been developed and tested to be able to operate at the speeds required by typical crop spraying missions, and not at the snail pace that a lot of experimental systems run at.

Having an industry-level vision system onboard brings the operation of crop sprayers and seeding drones a number of advantages, including:

  • Detection of trees, poles and other obstacles that appear along or near the mission path
  • Dynamic route planning which is continuously updated to provide the autopilot with millisecond avoidance guidance to navigate the drone around the obstacle and back onto the flight plan
  • Extremely simple planning, with only the region to be sprayed that needs to be set and no longer having to mark the location of obstacles
  • Spraying operations where manual planning around a high number of obstacles is not practical or possible, such as shade trees on tea plantations
  • Efficient coverage and increased safety by avoiding the inaccuracy of manual GPS based geo-referencing of obstacles

Trials will shift to 10 liter capacity crop sprayers in September with the first beta testing phase in Asia starting early Q4, 2020.  We will also soon be announcing ready-to-fly vision enabled crop spraying drones which will be presented by a “first-adopter” manufacturer in October, 2020.

For more information about how AirRails can power your crop spraying / seeding drones:

To learn more about SUIND: