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Advancing Honey Harvest With Drone Tech

Advancing Honey Harvest With Drone Tech

2019’s Australian eChallenge has recognised the potential of the winning team’s concept of an innovative way of pinpointing when honey will be ready to harvest.

As reported, Beecognition has won AU$ 16,000 in prize money for its creators and over AU$ 5,000 worth of expert guidance from business consultants.

About the Initiative

The project will be assisting apiarists in maximising their honey harvest as well as growing the market.

The team is composed of students from the University of Adelaide who used their knowledge of hydrology and geotechnical engineering to find a way to decrease the costs associated with collecting honey.

The idea came during a lecture in which a guest speaker from the honey bee industry outlined a few key areas that needed improvement.

Currently, the only way to determine if eucalypts are in flower is by visual inspection. Climate change has caused an increasing unpredictability to flowering events.

Thus, beekeepers would often travel large distances only to discover that bees are not producing any honey.

With their engineering skills, the group of students took the challenge of finding a way to identify when flowering events are most likely to occur.

Drones are to be utilised to remotely monitor sites and collect images that will show the apiarists when eucalypts are in flower.

In addition, the team also wants to develop a model that helps predict future flowering events based on historic data on rainfall, temperature and flowering events.

By using the Beecognition solution, apiarists will save time, limit the cost of travel, and reduce their impact on the environment.

The Australian eChallenge

The Australian eChallenge is an annual competition-based learning experience that develops strategic business thinking for early-stage entrepreneurial ventures. Run since 2001 by the University’s Adelaide Business School, the pre-accelerator program is a proving ground for future entrepreneurs. It is Australia’s longest running program of its kind.

Professor Noel Lindsay, Pro-Vice Chancellor – Entrepreneurship, and Dean of Business – Adelaide Business School, explained that the Australian eChallenge helps students in several ways.

It helps builds entrepreneurial capability, helps develop new ways of thinking about problems and solutions, and helps increase their capacity to think creatively and act decisively.

By tapping into the South Australian entrepreneurial ecosystem the Australian eChallenge connects the business community to students, academics and the general public.

Connecting these like-minded individuals through the program creates a great energy and it is through this stimulating education process that new entrepreneurs are born.

Teams pitch business proposals for their new, previously unfunded business concepts to potential investors from the local business community.

They compete for cash prizes. The total cash prize for 2019 was a pool of more than AU$ 180,000. They also get the prestige of being awarded the most outstanding Australian eChallenge entrepreneurial venture of the year.

Forty-nine teams, consisting of 180 participants, took part in the competition. Competition streams include Tertiary, Agri Food and Wine, and Medical Innovations.

Protecting Wildlife Through Drones

Several initiatives have utilised drones in the protection of wildlife.

One such initiative is from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury. OpenGov Asia earlier reported on drones to doctor endangered species of humpback whales.

Advances in technology such as drone technology, infrared imaging and data-processing have created unique opportunities to help whales survive.

Meanwhile, drones and virtual reality (VR) are being used to protect Australia’s koala population.

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) used the mashup of high-tech 360-degree imagery and heat-seeking drone cameras, along with traditional techniques of ground surveys, to identify areas most likely to be home to koalas.

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