In Indiana, Progeny Drone Inc., a Purdue-affiliated startup, has created software that rapidly converts aerial crop photos into useful information for plant breeding, crop modeling and precision agriculture. Progeny Drone also can take previously collected data, even from previous growing seasons, and glean useful information.
Anthony Hearst, co-founder and CEO of Progeny Drone and Ph.D. candidate in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University, says the agriculture industry has been overwhelmed trying to obtain actionable data about crop health and development in real time from unmanned aerial vehicles.
“Progeny Drone can do this fast with our software,” Hearst said. “Rather than taking days to weeks, we can do it in minutes, and it is very affordable. We don’t need to rely on supercomputers or cloud computing. We can do it on a laptop. This will help us provide a much faster turnaround time at a lower price than our competitors.”