Airborne Robotics and ADAS, who were awarded £391,347 (US$553,828), are partnering with Canada's Société pour l'information industrielle (SII).
Airborne Robotics’ RootDetect program aims to design a sophisticated sensor to scout out large areas for signs of club root in canola and oil seed rape crops. It is building a specialized Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) prototype for the agricultural environment.
ADAS said it is looking to validate data from the UAV with in-field assessments of clubroot disease and SII Canada will develop the algorithms necessary for machine learning for identification/diagnostics purposes.
"The product/service enabled by this project will be an integrated, data driven clubroot management tool. This will combine UAV capability with on-farm software which optimizes the long- and short-term economics of clubroot management, based on remotely-sensed spatial data. The RootDetect smart tool will be competitively priced to ensure it is accessible to end users and maximize uptake of its use."
The idea is that the semi-autonomous remote sensing tool will efficiently scout large areas and 'see' clubroot symptoms earlier than the grower or agronomist. Affected areas in the field will then be mapped and linked to precision farming technology which will allow targeted treatment of infested patches. "This will be cost effective for the grower and will minimize wastage and thus lower carbon emissions."