Drone Ag has developed new functionality for its mobile app Skippy Scout including 360-degree field imaging with virtual reality (VR) compatibility and plant counting. The new version of the software will be on show at CropTec, at stand 1.10, where visitors can experience how it works using a VR headset. “Using VR offers a unique opportunity to see what the drone sees and understand how the technology works,” says Drone Ag founder Jack Wrangham.
The new software will enable users to see a whole field with a bird’s eye view. Rather than only viewing individual scouting points, the new interface, “Scout Spheres”, offers high resolution overviews of entire fields combined with the ability to inspect leaf-level scout point data. “We are the only provider to offer users a drone-enabled, full field overview that includes the ability to focus on any area of the field and choose where to inspect at leaf-level,” he says.
Skippy Scout is capable of counting emerging plants 20 times faster than walking the crop. It can count cereals, OSR, soybeans, beans, peas, and potatoes, offering an accurate total of plants in an image, as well as the number of plants per square metre. “This development will enable existing and new users of Skippy to count emerging plants and then monitor the same fields to establish an accurate green area index (GAI) as the crop develops,” he says.
The new 2.6 version of Skippy (2.6) also features terrain aware route planning which halves flight times to maximise battery life and offers users the fastest scouting technology. “The amount of time being saved will enable farmers to concentrate on the problem rather than spend all their time finding it, only to find they are too late to make a difference,” he concludes.