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BioBOT: development of the equipment for autonomous parasitized eggs releasing for precision biological control through remotely piloted aircrafts

Abstract

The manual distribution of small pieces of paper filled with parasitized eggs is the most common method used today for biological pest control. These pieces are released in predefined intervals in order to guarantee that the desired area will be covered. This method has held its success into the fields, however this proceeding is limited when covering wide areas. Low efficiency and precision are key characteristics, besides the fact of being time consuming and demands a high number of contributors. The NCB company operates commercially a version of the Automatic Biological Control Embedded System (SECa-BuG), developed to substitute the proceeding previously related. This version was specially designed to operate with aircrafts (agricultural or light) to cover wider areas, but due to application constraints it was adapted to motorcycles. This first level of automation has brought many benefits and a large decrease of workload and work time. However, there are still difficulties for motorcycles to access rough terrain or taken by erosion and the agricultural aircraft, for example, either do not fit well the application because the payload is not worth for the operational costs when releasing in biological control. In this context, the main goal of this Phase 2 PIPE research project is to continue the development of BioBOT, an equipment for optimal control of the releasing rate of loose parasitized eggs and autonomous operation using Remotely Piloted Aircrafts on very low altitude flights. The development of the cloud-connected software system for integrated management and planning of BioBOT operations will also be carried out. It is a system dedicated to applications of precision biological control that allows automatic billing, display of indicators and unique reports on the results of field release. (AU)

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