With the combination of drone technology, algorithms and image recognition, BIO-DRONE will get biodiversity on the right track.
The Danish biodiversity has for the last few years been declining, which can be attributed to our intervening in nature in more ways than just utilisation of land areas and new built-up-areas. The biodiversity is also being affected by unrestrained plant growth and especially the plant giant hogweed. The plant inhibits the biodiversity to such an extent, that in 2006 it received its own legislation on restraining the plant species. The giant hogweed shadows other plant life, has no nutrition value, is poisonous and can cause serious burns – and it does not belong naturally in the Danish nature. The plant is therefore characterised as an invasive plant species.
When the biodiversity declines it is critically for the environment and that is precisely why biodiversity has been one of MUDP, Miljøteknologisk Udviklings- og Demonstrationsprogram, specific focus points for 2020. MUDP is a subsidy scheme by The Danish Ministry of Environment, which since 2007 has granted subsidies to projects that focuses on development, testing and demonstration of new environmental technology solutions within water, climate adaptation, cleaner air, better utilisation of resources etc. The subsidy scheme focuses on projects that contribute to the green transition and creates environmentally efficient technology.
The project BIO-DRONE is one of those projects, that in 2020 was granted subsidy from MUDP, as they focus on improving the biodiversity. Using drone technology and image recognition, the project will identify and locate the invasive giant hogweed on a larger scale than previously seen, which will optimize the control of the plant growth.
The three parties behind the project are Scout Robotics A/S, Cellari and Klitgaard Agro A/S. Scout Robotics A/S contributes with drone technology and proficiencies in flying drones with cameras. Cellari are experts in artificial intelligence and develops algorithms for recognising objects on images, where the primarily focus is on the giant hogweed. For 25 years, Klitgaard Agro A/S has worked targeted to control the invasive plant species on their more than 2.000 hectares of land.