See as a bee

See as a bee

Year

In progress

Research axis

Aerospace

Bees are used as vectors for pollination and agricultural chemical transport in farmland and greenhouse systems. However, there are some situations where natural pollinator use is problematic; such as: hybrid production, pharmaceutical drug cultivation, chemical transport above the tolerance of the vector specie, or atmospheres low in dioxygen. 

Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could act as an alternative vector in such situations as well perform other functions (i.e. yield estimation, early pest detection, soil moisture estimation, etc.). One step towards such a tool is to mount flower classification and analysis ability onboard a UAV. Traditional drone cameras have a Bayer filter covering the sensor creating a color image. However, this setup is optimized for human vision and not floral cues for pollinator vision.

We aim at creating a digital vision system optimized for the UV range of a bee’s visual spectrum; which can be incorporated into a drone. It will show the capability of such a system to: distinguish crop from weed species, locate the desired plant specie, count and map the flowers, and identify the flower to the cultivar level.