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BioBOT: development of a new equipment for autonomous parasitized eggs releasing 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 motorcycles and, due to the high demand to cover wider areas, it has been adapted to manned aircrafts (agricultural or light). 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 the proposals because the payload is not worth for the operational costs when releasing in biological control. In this context, this PIPE 1 project aims the development of the new BioBOT equipment, an aerial robot for optimal control of the parasitized eggs releasing rate and autonomous operation through remotely piloted aircrafts in very low altitude flights. It is intended to prove the technical and economic feasibility of the biological control in higher scales through the automation of aerial parasitized eggs releasing in partnership with EMBRAPA Soja (under cooperation contract 20900.15/0010-1). The final goal is to offer a new aerial autonomous vehicle that, integrated with BioBOT, can guarantee the access and the coverage of wider areas with higher eficiency and lower operational costs. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
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