An Australian Partnership is looking at putting fully autonomous drones in the air.
Meat and Livestock Australia and the Aerodyne Group are working together to develop a service that will put drones above beef farms. The difference is that instead of using manually controlled drones, the partnership aims to make the system completely hands off meaning no interaction is needed by the farmers to use the system.
After industry consultation the drone program has a list of objectives that pastoralists will be looking for the autonomous vehicles to meet.
- Pasture analysis to sense and catagorise ground coverage.
- Fence/boundary monitoring to keep an eye on border integrity.
- Herd location.
- Bull Tagging using smart tagging.
- Weed detection.
- Feral control. No actual “control” with ballistics which would be a step way too far at this stage of the game, just flagging the location of pests for the farmers to manage the old fashioned way.
- Water monitoring.
- Feedlot management.
- Tagless ID using machine learning to identify individual animals.
The collaboration worth AUD$5.1 million over two years seeks to develop valuable systems for the AUD$18 billion industry will be building on the iLAMS (intelligent Livestock and Asset Managment System) technology previously developed.
Australia is an ideal environment to develop new systems due to our well developed tecehnology sector, enthusiastic industries and of course the wide open spaces that allow for the testing of technology on a large scale.