Fly­ing high

An Aus­tralian drone com­pany has gained com­mer­cial ac­cred­i­ta­tion to as­sist with is­sues af­fect­ing farm­ers

Farms & Farm Machinery - - News -

Aus­tralian tech­nol­ogy com­pany Ni­nox Robotics has be­gun com­mer­cial drone op­er­a­tions af­ter gain­ing ap­proval from the Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Au­thor­ity (CASA).

Ni­nox Robotics’ un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles (UAVs) will be used to keep pest an­i­mal pop­u­la­tions off Aus­tralian farms, among other ap­pli­ca­tions such as con­struc­tion, min­ing and re­sources, and prop­erty de­vel­op­ment.

The com­pany has a num­ber of clients, in­clud­ing Biose­cu­rity Queens­land, which plans to use the drones to mon­i­tor pest pop­u­la­tions through­out the state.

Ni­nox Robotics has part­nered with South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil to mon­i­tor pest an­i­mal pop­u­la­tions in the South­ern Downs re­gion of Queens­land.

South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil pest man­age­ment of­fi­cer Craig Mag­nussen is con­fi­dent the tech­nol­ogy will help it mon­i­tor pest an­i­mal pop­u­la­tions and im­prove cur­rent prac­tices.

“We are ex­cited by the op­por­tu­ni­ties the tech­nol­ogy presents, par­tic­u­larly in de­tect­ing an­i­mals over vast ar­eas of in­ac­ces­si­ble ter­rain and mak­ing tra­di­tional, broad-scale pest an­i­mal con­trol meth­ods such as aerial bait­ing and shoot­ing more ef­fi­cient,” Mag­nussen says.

“Hav­ing wit­nessed some of Ni­nox Robotics’ early trial work, the coun­cil and its part­ners in this pro­ject, Goondi­windi

Re­gional Coun­cil and Gran­ite Bor­ders Land­care Com­mit­tee, are very pleased to be a part of the first com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tion of the tech­nol­ogy.”

En­gi­neer­ing firm LogiCamms will also rely on Ni­nox UAS for mon­i­tor­ing its projects and map­ping pro­posed in­fra­struc­ture.

All projects will be led by Ni­nox Robotics chief pi­lot Colin Smith, who is a for­mer ma­jor in the Aus­tralian De­fence Force, and his team of spe­cially-trained drone pi­lots and tech­ni­cians.

Ni­nox Robotics man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mar­cus Ehrlich says the ini­tial three projects will of­fer a glimpse of the ver­sa­til­ity and unique ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the drones and how the tech­nol­ogy can be utilised in re­gional Aus­tralia.

“We are ea­ger to be work­ing along­side or­gan­i­sa­tions that are look­ing for in­tel­li­gent, cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions to lever­age prac­ti­cal, com­pre­hen­sive in­for­ma­tion in both real-time and soon af­ter flight,” Ehrlich says. “The amount of in­ter­est we’ve re­ceived so far across dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries and lev­els of gov­ern­ment sig­nals that Aus­tralian busi­nesses and land­hold­ers are ea­ger to see how these drones can make a dif­fer­ence.”

Be­low: Ni­nox Robotics has teamed up with Biose­cu­rity Queens­land to mon­i­tor pests in re­gional ar­eas

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