Manufacturing need not fear information technology. This is solid proof. I mean, if agriculture can do it. I think this is cowboy technology. Sheep farmers in Australia could put this to good use.
Easy-to-use agricultural drones equipped with cameras, for less than $1,000. ..... using sensors and robotics to bring big data to precision agriculture. ..... a low-cost aerial camera platform ..... This low-altitude view (from a few meters above the plants to around 120 meters, which is the regulatory ceiling in the United States for unmanned aircraft operating without special clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration) gives a perspective that farmers have rarely had before. Compared with satellite imagery, it’s much cheaper and offers higher resolution. Because it’s taken under the clouds, it’s unobstructed ...... due largely to remarkable advances in technology: tiny MEMS sensors (accelerometers, gyros, magnetometers, and often pressure sensors), small GPS modules, incredibly powerful processors, and a range of digital radios. ..... Drones can provide farmers with three types of detailed views. First, seeing a crop from the air can reveal patterns that expose everything from irrigation problems to soil variation and even pest and fungal infestations that aren’t apparent at eye level. Second, airborne cameras can take multispectral images, capturing data from the infrared as well as the visual spectrum, which can be combined to create a view of the crop that highlights differences between healthy and distressed plants in a way that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Finally, a drone can survey a crop every week, every day, or even every hour. Combined to create a time-series animation, that imagery can show changes in the crop, revealing trouble spots or opportunities for better crop management. ......... a trend toward increasingly data-driven agriculture. ..... We expect 9.6 billion people to call Earth home by 2050. All of them need to be fed. ...... More and better data can reduce water use and lower the chemical load in our environment and our food. Seen this way, what started as a military technology may end up better known as a green-tech tool, and our kids will grow up used to flying robots buzzing over farms like tiny crop dusters.