Fund-raising campaign to develop crop-management drone app
A fund-raising campaign has been launched to further develop an agricultural app which automates crop scouting with just your phone and a drone.
Drone Ag has started the £250,000 Crowdfunding appeal to enhance its sophisticated Skippy Scout software – designed to make farmers’ lives easier by saving time, increasing efficiency and providing accurate results.
Heliguy has partnered with Drone AG to offer a training course to help you learn how to use your drone for agriculture
Skippy Scout optimises crop management in real time, at leaf-level, using just your phone and your drone.
The Skippy Scout app makes walking the fields a thing of the past. It does the work for you in less time and in more detail – all with just a phone and a drone
Northumberland-based Drone Ag Limited is a team of farmers, agronomists, drone pilots and software engineers providing drone-training courses and easy-to-use software solutions to help make farming more efficient, with less hassle.
“We truly believe that Skippy Scout can bring huge improvements to efficiency in agriculture,” – Jack Wrangham, founder and director of Drone AG
Last year, Heliguy partnered with Drone AG to offer a two-day training course for using your drone on your farm.
Drones are helping farmers reduce costs and improve productivity through various means, such as crop management/spraying and livestock monitoring
Tell Me More About Skippy Scout
Drone AG’s Skippy Scout software is a smartphone application and platform that automates crop monitoring using drones and analyses the data using deep learning Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Skippy Scout flies the drone around the field and at multiple points it descends to only a few metres above the crop and takes a photo. These images are collected much faster than on foot and in much more detail than mapping or satellite and can be viewed in real time.
Skippy Scout is easy to use, taking affordable off-the-shelf drones and automating them in a way never done before
Once the images are collected, users can view them in location, zooming right in to leaf-level.
Skippy Scout automates drones in a way never done before, with the aim to collect and analyse leaf-level data in a simple and practical way that fits with current farming practices now and helps to increase efficiency.
Jack Wrangham, Founder and Director of Drone AG
The plan is to offer the software as a subscription-based service with two primary tiers – one aimed at farmers and the other at agronomists.
The next stage is to implement the full user interface and integrate green-area index measurements and weed detection.
Drone AG wants to raise £250,000 through Crowdfunding. The funds will allow the business to develop new features, hire new talent in-house and take the Skippy Scout platform to market over the next 18 months
Drone AG wants to bring in further expertise to help it develop the AI to recognise different types of disease, weeds and crop growth stage.
Views of Skippy Scout From The Industry
More than 200 early adopters have signed up to test the Skippy Scout app.
They are now planning the next stages of development, with the aim of fully integrating the custom deep-learning AI and to continue training it to detect more and more crop issues and useful metrics, as well as adding new features to allow farm machinery to sync with the software directly.
Hugh Wrangham, who farms and also works on R&D, said: “Building on our years of experience, we knew we needed a system that saves us time and provides us data we can readily use.
“With Skippy, I have data straight away that I can confidently use to assess growth stage, pest, weed and disease levels in the field.”
Praising the app, agronomist Robert Ord, pictured below, added: “I think in the past the mapping software has been cumbersome and slow and you’ve stopped using it because you haven’t had the time, whereas Skippy Scout will mean you can easily get out of the car, set the drone away and get the data quickly.’
Drone AG is aiming to raise £250,000 via the Crowdfunding appeal. The funds will allow the business to develop new features, hire new talent in-house and take the platform to market over the next 18 months.
The team believes that equity-based Crowdfunding is the best fit for its plans.
Jack said: “We truly believe that Skippy Scout can bring huge improvements to efficiency in agriculture. Crowdfunding allows anyone to invest and to share in our success.
“For me, continuing to involve the agricultural community as we move forward is key both from an investment and feedback point of view, Crowdfunding is a great way to do that.”
Anyone can invest in the company, Drone Ag Limited, via the online platform Crowdcube in exchange for shares in the business. Sign up for early access to the campaign via www.droneag.farm/invest
Drones And Agriculture – A Dream Partnership
Drones are proving to be a great tool for agriculture. In fact, agritech is predicted to grow to $4billion worldwide by 2024.
Drone technology has introduced precision agriculture to farms that help them to reduce costs and improve productivity
So why is this industry booming and why are more and more farmers turning to UAVs?
Well, in a nutshell, drones are helping farmers reduce costs and improve productivity through various means, such as:
Jack said: “There is a huge appetite for drone systems in agriculture and farming. A drone can be turned into a useful farming tool – flying it over a field to give a farmer valuable insights and a range of information.”
Heliguy sells a range of drones to help the agriculture industry. To find out more, call us or send us an email.
James is Heliguy’s Blogger and Drone Content Executive. James keeps our readers up to date with drone news within the ever-changing industry.