Drone4Agro/ TOPFarm (TechForFuture)

Drone4Agro/ TOPFarm (TechForFuture)


Drone4Agro is a dedicated platform to develop a drone for use in the agricultural sector. Its goal is to have a fully certified drone of 150kg that can be used in precision agriculture and more general tasks in agriculture, like crop sampling, herds watering, etc..

Advantages: environmentally friendly, enabling beneficial intercropping, avoiding tractor trail surface loss and soil compaction, and available 24/7. It also allows the use of intercropping, thereby reducing risks of monoculture vulnerability of disease and plagues. The drone is a flying tractor with robot features. It can carry different implements to a 100 kg with some 20 min flight time with batteries, extendable to 1.5 hrs with a range extender. It is the flying working horse for precision agriculture.

TOPFarm (TechForFuture)

Due to the growing world population it is necessary to further optimize the use of agricultural land. Drones are becoming an increasingly familiar sight in precision farming to improve the cost efficiency of this sector. After all, they eliminate the need for manual labour in tasks such as crop irrigation, etc. To further automate this process, it is important that the drones can re-charge and re-fill themselves. It is also important that the drones no longer require pilots and that autonomous landing technology is designed.

Objective: The technical challenge lies in the transition from GPS-controlled flying to the automatic landing/coupling procedure, which entails a transfer between drone control systems. At the same time, the technical challenge is to create a sufficiently generic and modular control set-up so that the hardware (ground-based or airborne robot) is independent.

  1. The development of a docking station with an autonomous battery charger plus possibility for automatic re-fill with liquids (such as pesticides) up to 150kg. 
  2. The design and implementation of a robust (threefold) autonomous landing controller for an antenna robot.

Commissioned by: Boessenkool – Drone4Agro


Applied innovation developments process