Jun 30, 2016
WSU partners with drone manufacturer for research

DJI, a commercial drone manufacturer, and Washington State University (WSU) will partner on research and use of unmanned aerial systems in precision agriculture. DJI and WSU will jointly develop methods to improve agriculture with unmanned aerial systems.

This is DJI’s first comprehensive partnership with a U.S. university, the company said in a news release. WSU’s Center for Precision & Automated Agricultural Systems, based in Prosser, Washington, will lead the effort.

Headquartered in Shenzhen, Guongdong, China, DJI manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles and aerial photography systems. In 2015, the company released its first drone developed specifically for agriculture, the DJI Agras MG-1.

The two partners are pursuing research collaborations that include:

  • Precision Agriculture: crop stress monitoring, aerial imaging and precision spraying;
  • Automated UAS platform development and testing for crop loss management, such as bird deterrence and rainwater removal from cherry canopies;
  • Rapid field phenotyping (aerial imaging) of new crop breeding lines; and
  • Development and evaluation of next generation unmanned aerial systems for agricultural use.

DJI will also study starting a “Global Research Challenge” at WSU, enlisting students and faculty to find solutions to real world technological problems, the company said.


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