Precision AI’s Drones Set to Reduce Herbicide Use for Farmers

Precision AI, a Saskatchewan based drone startup, is launching the world’s first artificially intelligent agriculture drones for plant-level herbicide application at broad-acre scale. The company’s drones use complex AI to spot, identify, and kill weeds without any need for chemical pesticides. 

The startup plans to commercialize its on-demand spraying service next year, allowing farmers to book as needed. The company is poised to introduce drones capable of fully autonomous take off, flight, and landing manoeuvers. Currently, regulations require drone missions to be supervised by a human operator.

The drone solution could effectively replace the need for spraying tractors traversing entire fields and spraying weeds with herbicides. The conventional methods have a significant environmental impact, while also requiring excessive manual labour and supply costs. 

Precision AI’s AI-based weed identification has reached 96% accuracy, while reaching an incredible resolution. The company claims the AI can identify anything bigger than half a sesame seed without losing accuracy. Once identified, the drone is designed to spray herbicide on the target plant/weed alone. This would reduce herbicide use by as much as 90% when compared against the practice of spraying an entire field. 

The company has made the news recently, being announced as one of several winners in BloombergNEF’s 2023 Pioneers award.

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