A low-cost 3D printed crop monitoring drone

Quesney Nevarez, is a Mexican electronics engineering student who was selected to be a part of a group of 44 students chosen to develop or refine existing projects in Ottawa as a part of a three-month Globalink internship program. For the project they had to develop a low cost effective solution for a social cause. She made a low-cost 3D printed crop monitoring drone which can used as a replacement to the expensive Crop monitoring systems as a part of this Globalink internship program.

low-cost 3D printed crop monitoring drone

22 years old Miss Nevarez comes from Ciudad Obregón Mexio, she had her family shift to Ottawa, Canada a few decades ago. They have a small farm there and her parents work of the field to supports their livelihood. She grew up watching her parents toil the whole day on the farm and being sad when their crops were destroyed because of Pests. So when she got the opportunity to do something for the society she decided to develop a 3D printable drone design that could be used to take aerial readings of farmers’ crops.

She had seen the aerial farm Crop monitoring systems at work on large commercial farms and her plan was to make a Drone that could do the same. The Drone that she has developed fly’s over the farm taking photos and recording infrared video which tells how the plants are absorbing sunlight and tracks their photosynthesis levels. The Data collected by the Drone can then be used to effectively evaluate and improve on the use of water and fertilizer on the farm. It can also work as an early warning system in case of a pest attack.

low-cost 3D printed crop monitoring drone

Taking about the 3D printed crop monitoring drone Miss Nevarez said “This is (to) help small farmers like my family make sure the health of their crops. This technology is really expensive … We are trying to keep it as low-cost as possible, so that way small farmers, every farmer, can get their own.”

low-cost 3D printed crop monitoring drone

Developing the 3D printed drone was not easy task she explains “In my school, we don’t have a lot of things. It’s a small school. Even in Mexico, it’s hard to find a 3D printer, and here they have three,” she said. “It’s really different.”

Jeremy Laliberté, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who is leading the program spoke to us about the Farm monitoring drone and said “Her background stood out, having had experience on a family farm, and this was a project about giving technology to small farmers both here and abroad, so it was a perfect fit.”

low-cost 3D printed crop monitoring drone

According to Miss Nevarez, This is the 1st time she was working with the drone technology. She said she could not have made a drone without the help of the online open source community and 3D printers. Her future plans are to develop technologies that disrupt traditional product manufacturing processes and help the society as a byproduct.

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