Fixed-wing drone company senseFly is teaming up with Microsoft to optimize food production worldwide with a data-drive farming platform.
The Switzerland-based company announced a new partnership with Microsoft Azure FarmBeats.
No, that’s not a new set of vegetable-based, overpriced headphones. It’s a global initiative harvesting the ambitious goal of increasing global food yields by 70 percent by 2050.
Using drones, sensors and other software/hardware platforms, the FarmBeats program will collect and analyze huge swathes of agricultural data to develop actionable insights for farmers using AI and machine-learning algorithms.
As noted in a Microsoft blog post, FarmBeats offers the following:
“Assess farm health using vegetation index and water index based on satellite imagery.
Get recommendations on how many sensors to use and where to place them.
Track farm conditions by visualizing ground data collected by sensors from various vendors.
Scout farms using drone imagery from various vendors.
Get soil moisture maps based on the fusion of satellite and sensor data.
Gain actionable insights by building AI or ML models on top of fused datasets.
Build or augment your digital agriculture solution by providing farm health advisories.”
The agreement represents a bountiful harvest for senseFly as the firm continues to reap new strategic partnerships.
As reported in a DRONELIFE exclusive, senseFly inked a distribution deal with precision-ag leader Trimble in September.
The agreement plants senseFly firmly on Trimble’s select list (note to reader: I can sow these agriculture puns all day long). This allows senseFly to sell their products directly to the ag market.
“This will be particularly beneficial in helping agronomists, farmers and researchers accurately plan and manage their operations, as the [eBee X fixed-wing drone] and its suite of sensors add value throughout the growing season by providing efficient crop insights,” a company spokesperson notes.
“Trimble and Microsoft are major players in the agriculture sector, and these relationships are a testament to senseFly’s drones operating at the high standards required by large organizations to deliver the results they need,” senseFly CEO Gilles Labossière said.
“This includes being able to offer a range of cameras to meet project-specific requirements, absolute accuracy down to [1.2 inches] and unparalleled flight times that enable coverage of up to 1,235 acres in a single flight.”