New technologies are on the rise, and now they are even conquering the skies.
With great maneuverability and a wide arrange of applications, drones are one of the newest high tech toys on the market and are a revolutionary factor in many businesses such as movie and advertisement production and real estate sales.
A drone, or an aerial unmanned vehicle (UAV) is light machine, with four or more helices that is capable to lift a camera and move it smoothly through the air. All though they have been around for long in military uses, just recently they have been used for commercial applications. [quote_box_right]Want to fly a drone? Learn about some new regulations Costa Rica has designed for safe flying: Drones in Costa Rica[/quote_box_right]
In Costa Rica we can see them recording sport events or shooting breath-taking photograph of the country on bird eye perspective. UAV´s have also been used around the world as a delivery systems for online stores and emergency detectors by the United States Police Department.
But there is one innovative use of drones in Costa Rica that could prove to be extremely helpful.
New Tech in Old Fields
Engineers at the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) have developed a drone with a special infrared camera, capable of analyzing crops with great precision. This new technology allows farmers to detect the presence of a plague or the lack of a nutrient with never before seen accuracy, thus increasing the efficiency of fertilizers and pesticides allowing workers to use just the right amount on the exact plants that are in need. UAVs will greatly reduce the cost of crop maintenance and increases the quality of the products and phytosanitary security.
Several infrared cameras attached to a UAV will detect the “aura” of the crops. This aura reveals the health of the plants and the earth, so the farmer knows exactly where he has to keep an eye out. The drone is also capable of detecting the growth of bad weeds or the presence of insects on any individual plant.
Now, there is no need to spray a whole crop with a pesticide, just the plants that need it and on the exact amount. This is a big step forward in the way we produce our food. Considering the drought conditions in Guanacaste this technology could save the day and is a very striking chance for farmer to increase their quality.