Sony hones in on drones for agriculture market with capability expansion

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Sony Electronics has announced a version 2.0 software update for its Smart Agriculture Solution aimed at providing agricultural customers with new AI-based imaging capabilities including drones.

The new features, based on industry feedback, aim to provide expanded functionality and are planned for rollout in March 2020. 

As part of the launch, Sony Electronics, which currently offers its Smart Agriculture Solution in the United States, said it expects to begin offering the solution in Australia starting next month to meet the diverse and demanding agricultural needs of the continent

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With the launch of Sony’s Version 2.0 software update, the enhanced agriculture solution consisting of a drone-mounted multispectral sensing unit and Fast Field Analyzer image analytics software for in-the-field crop management, monitoring and insights, will add Sony’s unique imaging and AI-based technology for stand counting.

Stand counting allows growers to assess the planting quality, enabling replanting decisions to be made earlier and with greater accuracy.

The Version 2.0 update will allow growers to precisely analyze large areas with ease.

After close collaboration with several agronomy companies, including Syngenta, that are immersed in diverse aspects of farming – from drones, to mapping and analytics – the latest Smart Agriculture Solution software aims to enable a more intelligent, more flexible and more robust way to count and evaluate early-stage row crops, with capabilities for variable and uniform seeding rates.

The enhancements were designed to create a more powerful and capable solution that better serves agronomists and offers end-to-end support for replanting decisions, which can be made minutes after flight, without the need for an Internet connection.

Theresa Alesso, pro division president at Sony Electronics, commented: “Sony entered the agriculture space earlier this year and in that short time, our imaging expertise and relationships in the market have helped us learn, grow and adapt our strategy to provide a more meaningful solution for agronomists.”

Adding: “We have aligned ourselves with influential companies, universities and researchers large and small to get a holistic picture of the agronomy landscape from their perspective and to better understand the role that technology plays in their decision making and insights. We have taken this industry feedback to heart, which is why the new Version 2.0 software for our Smart Agriculture Solution combines hi-resolution drone imagery with AI to offer a more accurate and time-saving approach to plant counting and analysis.”

DJI focused on drones for agriculture at this year’s Airworks conference.

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Alex Douglas

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