After an eye-opening Nuffield global focus program through South Africa, Kenya, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and USA I am in the final stages of planning for my study topic travels.
My study question aims to investigate: the potential of unmanned aerial/ground vehicles (UAV/UGV) in the grains industry
Note: I will keep an eye open on UGVs but the topic is too big if I try and focus on both! Therefore, the primary focus will be UAVs.
- Investigate the perceived benefits of UAVs
- Understand the individual components that contribute to a UAV solution
- Consider strengths, weaknesses and standout features of different UAV manufacturers
- Evaluate end user experience so far with UAV technology
- Record current development and future use for the technology
Beneath these over arching objectives include many of the FAQs many people have such as:
- How do we handle the data?
- Which sensor is the best?
- Will UAVs actually help farmers make better decisions or just generate more data?
- What about the rules and regulations?
- Can a farmer own his own UAV or is it a specialist occupation?
To achieve these objectives I will be traveling the the USA and Canada in July-August 2014. During my travels I will attend three conferences, meet with at length with three UAV companies, discuss end user experience with farmers and advisers, and lots more…
As per Nuffield requirements I will be producing a comprehensive report on my findings which I hope to have completed by September 2014. Once edited and approved it will be available at the Nuffield International Reporting page.
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Sponsor and media: Nuffield Scholarship page
Previous article of interest: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in Precision Agriculture