Agricultural Drone Prototype Produced

08 July 2024

An automated seed planting drone that was originally the idea of a primary school pupil has been turned into a working prototype by University of Southampton students. 

The concept, which has clear potential in a smart farming context, had been initially developed by Emily Jackson of St. James CE Primary Academy, for Primary Engineer's 'If You Were an Engineer, What Would You Do?' competition. The prototype that stems from that has the ability to sense the nutrient levels in soil, then select applicable seeds for those conditions. It can plant a specific mix of seeds, in order to avoid monoculture issues. Sowing depth accuracy is kept to within a 0.67mm margin. The drone's powertrain can propel it over rough terrain. It allows the handling of 10% inclines and obstacles of 5cm in height to be overcome. 

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