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DropCopter's use of BlocklyProp and the FLiP: a must-see

Comments

  • 14 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Ken, be forewarned: Bees are going to protest. Nice job!
    Larry

    If the grass is greener on the other side...it's time to water your lawn.
  • Wow! Cool app. I saw RC transmitters in the video, and I saw a GPS-looking thing on a mast. How is the unit guided?

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Wow! Cool app. I saw RC transmitters in the video, and I saw a GPS-looking thing on a mast. How is the unit guided?

    -Phil

    ArduPilot handles the quadcopter under GPS and R/C modes, so we're on the pollination side of things.

  • lardom wrote: »
    Ken, be forewarned: Bees are going to protest. Nice job!

    I can only imagine. The almond crops up and down the Central Valley of California had bee boxes outside last week when I drove to Los Angeles. The bee leasing industry is a big deal. Maybe they can't provide enough bees to get the job done.

    On the other side, the almond industry has recently exploded in California.

  • Well done Mr. Gracey.

    Parallax's capabilities and service have always been top notch.

    Dave
    Well-written documentation requires no explanation.
  • jmgjmg Posts: 11,437
    Ken Gracey wrote: »
    I can only imagine. The almond crops up and down the Central Valley of California had bee boxes outside last week when I drove to Los Angeles. The bee leasing industry is a big deal. Maybe they can't provide enough bees to get the job done.

    On the other side, the almond industry has recently exploded in California.

    I saw numbers go past a week ago on the size of the Almond crop, was amazing $20B+...

    Drilling into the details, I see that claimed "$21.5 billion of industry output" was the marketing-spin of adding many downstream guesses....

    but even without that spin, Almonds are a large industry, close to knocking grapes into 3rd.
    ( Even walnuts do ok on this list ;) )

    CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION STATISTICS
    Milk and Cream— $6.07 billion
    Grapes — $5.58 billion
    Almonds — $5.16 billion
    Cattle and Calves — $2.53 billion
    Lettuce — $1.96 billion
    Strawberries — $1.83 billion
    Pistachios — $1.5 billion
    Tomatoes — $1.33 billion
    Walnuts — $1.24 billion
    Broilers — $801 million


  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 21,901
    edited March 9 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Almonds are in ascendency due to their supposed abundance of heart-healthy fats. But, in reality, walnuts are better and a much richer source of Omega-3s. The only problem with walnuts is that the industry has not figured out a way to package them as a snack food. Almonds are ubiquitous in that market, second only to peanuts and maybe cashews.

    What are broilers? Are those chickens?

    And regarding pollination, is the drone a substitute for bees due to colony collapse disorder? I wonder if that is our answer to the problem instead of Europe's recent ban of neonicotinoid insecticides that have been shown to harm bee populations.

    Finally, from an engineering standpoint, how do you even gather enough pollen to fill a canister for spreading with a drone?

    Yeah, I know: "Zo many qvestions, Herr Pilgrim!"

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • davejames wrote: »
    Well done Mr. Gracey.

    Parallax's capabilities and service have always been top notch.

    Dave

    Thanks Dave! Hope to see you again soon.
  • jmg wrote: »
    but even without that spin, Almonds are a large industry, close to knocking grapes into 3rd.
    ( Even walnuts do ok on this list ;) )

    CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION STATISTICS
    Milk and Cream— $6.07 billion
    Grapes — $5.58 billion
    Almonds — $5.16 billion
    Cattle and Calves — $2.53 billion
    Lettuce — $1.96 billion
    Strawberries — $1.83 billion
    Pistachios — $1.5 billion
    Tomatoes — $1.33 billion
    Walnuts — $1.24 billion
    Broilers — $801 million

    Grapes are where the revenue is growing like mad - wine consumption is on the rise again. You wouldn't believe the amount of surface water pollution the vineyards create.
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,110
    That is friggin' AWESOME! Great job Chip and an amazing win/win for all involved! Congrats!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Tracy AllenTracy Allen Posts: 6,234
    edited March 9 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Very interesting, and it goes to show that Chip still has top notch chops for writing impressive propeller code on a Flip, and in Blockly no less!

    Like Phil, I have "zo many questions". Where do they get the pollen, and how can pollen sprayed from above possibly be efficient/cost? Bees coevolved with almond flowers to collect and to deliver fresh pollen directly to the stigma of the next flowers that they visit. Almonds require cross pollination, between trees and between varieties that have offsets in timing of pollen production and receptiveness, so activity day after day over wide areas during the blooming period is essential for high percentage fruit set.

    Do bees collect the pollen that the copter later applies by spray? I see that DropCopter has a partnership with a company, PollenRanch. Hives can fitted with screens that pop the pollen off the bee's legs. but it is hard to imagine collecting pollen manually. How efficiently can pollen be applied, because most of it is going to fall somewhere other than a stigma. Of course it takes only one viable grain, and pollen grains are very small, ~35µm. A search for "effectiveness of aerial pollination of almonds" yields several in-depth studies. Just wondering.
  • Great job Ken.
  • I was discussing this project with a friend of mine yesterday. We came to the conclusion that a person could make a tidy sum using a drone like this to dispense moss retardant on people's roofs.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Since I'm getting into flying the multicopters with my daughter, this was a cool project to look at. @Phil - I agree, people back home in Alaska actually get up on the roof and powerwash it off every year or so! :)
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