FAA not conducting drone reviews due to COVID. Consulted with Casey (FAA advisor).
No small drones (under 55 pounds) available (made in China). Due to Pandemic and lack of drone decided to control Japan Beetles conventionally (ground sprayer from truck).
First sighting of Japanese Beetle on June 28th. Continue looking for small drones. None available.
Beetles on mass especially in the NW corner of the south field.
Last spraying for Japanese Beetle. Small drone (borrowed) took aerial view of south field (producing field).
Picked grapes. Detailed record of production.
No small drones available for purchase.
Unable to purchase drone for spraying. Looking at other options.
Received extension of 11 months for grant. Received approval to switch to an Autonomous Ground Vehicle Sprayer.
Began search for University Ag. Group to help in perfecting the Autonomous Ground Vehicle Sprayer.
Early Pick. Began picking Marquette grapes
Finished picking grapes. Detailed record of production.
Presented Autonomous Ground Vehicle Sprayer project to Robotics Club at SDSU (South Dakota State University.)
February -October 2022
Sprayer is being built and refined by the SDSU Robotics Club in Brookings South Dakota. Twenty-three students have been working approximately five-six hours per week with a break over summer. Progress on the autonomous sprayer includes a cover to waterproof the electronics and connect to the batteries. Sprayer arms were made and attached onto the platform. CPU board was added to the sprayers to be controlled by remote control. Emergency stops and obstacle detection sensors were added. See the team picture below.
Late pick. Began picking Frontenac Gris grapes. Marquette pick started four days later. Bumper crop for Marquette grapes due to lack of rain, high heat, and dew Japanese Beetles.
Field Day Demo in Vineyard (Autonomous Drone Sprayer) October 2nd at 12:30 pm.
Videos showing the drone sprayer in action.
Images from the Field Day.