Public Access

Community storytelling.

This post was created by a member of the Public Access community. It has not been edited for accuracy or truthfulness and does not reflect the opinions of Engadget or its editors.

Editor's Picks

Image credit:

Drones are giving life to biofuels


The technology behind drones is getting better day by day. As a result, scientists are looking forward to use drones for a variety of purposes, which can benefit human beings in the long run. Using drones in order to breed better sorghum is a perfect example to prove the above mentioned fact.

It has been identified that a group of researchers are looking forward to attach sensors to an aerial drone and two ground drones and release them to a field that has different varieties of sorghum planted. In addition to the three drones, a set of stationary sensors will also be used for the process. The main objective of this set up is to create a 3 dimensional model of the field, which can assist the scientists to extract useful information about the plant. In fact, they are looking for the sorghum varieties that are in a position to thrive beyond expectation.

Sorghum and corn can be considered as the two main biofuel sources that you can find out there in the world. Out of these two sources of biofuel, scientists have paid more attention towards corn because of its ability to thrive in heat and drought conditions. On the other hand, they require little water when compared to corn. As mentioned earlier, a large number of corn varieties can be found out there in the world and the best known ones of them are still not known. Drones can assist scientists to figure them out. In fact, the sensors and drones can provide useful facts such as the thickness and height in order to angle the leaves so that productivity could be maximized.

The aerial drone that is being used for this purpose is a 25 pound autonomous helicopter. It is associated with the latest technologies available such as hyper spectral cameras, thermal infrared and visible imaging. This drone is set to fly over the crops on a regular basis in order to extract required information. In fact, it would make a 20 minute journey covering the 10 acre plot in every other week. This journey would assist the drone to take its own measurements in a precise manner with the help of leaves and plant stalks. Even though this is a small journey, it has the potential to gather all the required information in an effective manner.

Growing biofuel in large scale has the potential to deliver a variety of economic benefits in the long run. On the other hand, it has the ability to make this planet a better place for the human beings. Sorghum is one of the best biofuel types available out there for the individuals and this research certainly has the ability to deliver amazing results in the long run. Therefore, all money and effort that is being spent on it would be an excellent investment done towards the future. The best drone & quadcopter technology that would come out in the future would help the scientists to increase the effectiveness of this study.

ear iconeye icontext filevr