A team in Saga prefecture has successfully developed Agridrone, which will seek out and terminate pests with extreme prejudice.

Agridrone was created in a joint project of Saga University, Saga Prefecture, and IT firm OPTiM. Their goal was to find a way to reduce the use of pesticides through the rapidly growing market of drones.

Now they have announced that successful test runs of Agridrone have been carried out over soy and sweet potatoes crops in Saga. Agridrone was successful in seeking out and destroying about 50 different types of pests including moths, midges, and whitebacked planthoppers.

As the video shows, Agridrone works by patrolling the fields at night when many natural predators are asleep and insects venture out from their hiding places. It also flies automatically allowing farm workers their much-needed rest.

When Agridrone spots a threat to the farm’s interests, it swoops in and delivers a tactical strike of pesticide. This can greatly reduce the use of chemicals by not having to douse the entire field in them.

▼ A pesticide cannon as well as infra-red and thermal cameras are some of Agridrone’s key components

However, if you totally want to eliminate pesticides from you arsenal, Agridrone has you covered too. By attaching a bug zapper to the bottom of it, these farm drones can take care of insects with hand to hand combat…or whatever the equivalent to that is with drones and bugs.

Although these first tests were successful, the team behind Agridrone still have a lot of work to do in improving its efficiency for different types of crops and pests. For example, using the drones specifically against whitebacked planthoppers could potentially save a great deal of wasted rice plants in Japan.

So, thank you Agridrone, for being a flying killbot that we all can look forward to seeing more of.

Source: @Press (Japanese)
Images: @Press
Video: YouTube/OPTiM