Dubbed the StitchCAM, the Kickstarter.com project is an affordable, precise way for farmers to assess the health of their crops, increase crop yields and use water more efficiently, SNAP Vision explains in a press release.
The complete system is available to order for a Kickstarter pledge of $2,800 through Aug. 8. The project will be funded only if a minimum of $100,000 is pledged by 12:17 a.m. PDT on that date.
The StitchCAM aerial imaging system comprises a survey drone, a Google Nexus tablet and proprietary software that works together to collect highly refined crop images.
As the UAV moves in a serpentine pattern over the survey area, it captures and collects several ultra high-resolution color images, near-infrared information and geo-location data.
After the survey is complete, the software on the tablet immediately processes the images for viewing right in the field. Farmers use the data to evaluate whether plants are healthy or stressed, or to identify weed pressures. Landowners can use the information to assess areas that are being under-watered or over-watered and make adjustments to utilize water resources more wisely.
Currently, farmers collect information about the well-being of their crops by walking their fields or by using manned air flights – each one costing on average eight dollars per acre, SNAP Vision says.
Because the StitchCAM can fly lower and slower than an airplane, the company says it can capture imagery that is much more detailed than what can be captured from a traditional plane.