DJI and Washington State University (WSU) have announced their intention to partner on research for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in precision agriculture.
DJI says this marks its first comprehensive partnership with a U.S. university. Last year, Shenzhen, Guongdong, China-headquartered DJI released its first drone developed specifically for agriculture, the DJI Agras MG-1.
WSU and DJI are pursuing research collaborations that include 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 of new crop breeding lines; and the development and evaluation of next-generation UAS for agriculture.
“We are excited to collaborate with WSU and recognize their vast experience in aerospace and agricultural applications,” says Romeo Durscher, DJI’s director of education. “Letting educators, students and researchers work with our hardware and create applications through our software development kit will lead to new inventions and better utilization of our platforms and help a variety of people and industries – from farmers to field workers to consumers.”
WSU’s Center for Precision & Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS), based in Prosser, Wash., will lead the effort. CPAAS provides the agricultural community in the Pacific Northwest with technology for increased farming efficiency and environmentally friendly production.
“CPAAS is focused on high-impact research outcomes,” explains Dr. Qin Zhang, director of CPAAS. “Our facilities, students and faculty offer DJI significant development capabilities and a unique testing ground.”
DJI will also initiate a “Global Research Challenge” at WSU in order to enlist students and faculty to find solutions to real-world technological problems.