Monday, September 10, 2018

Farming Enters a Digital Era with PlantCopters


Photo: KAUST

Transforming the mass monitoring of crops, relatively inexpensive smart tag solutions are set to deploy in three countries beginning in 2019. These sensors report plant conditions including data on plant growth, temperature, humidity, and more.

Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, a professor of electrical engineering at KAUST, and his team are behind the research and development of this sensor solution. Titled “PlantCopter”, this sensor brings the Internet of Things to farming through the use of biodegradable materials and a Bluetooth connection.

“My overarching objective is to collect big data and infuse it with AI so that drones can make real-time decisions like spreading fertilizer and pesticides as needed,” Hussain explains. “My vision is if productivity goes up by even one percent, I think that would feed more people.”

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