A Purdue startup company is taking flight in the world of agriculture. Anthony Hearst, CEO of Progeny Drone, Inc. and a PhD candidate, founded the company that uses image processing software that rapidly converts aerial crop images into useful information for plant breeding, crop modeling and precision agriculture.
Hearst says that other companies providing data from drone images could take up to 28 days to get any actionable data back. His software turns the drone images into useable data within minutes, and it can do it from a laptop that does not need an internet connection.
“Our software will have some built in analytics. So, it can measure things like the crop cover within each plot, the greenness of the vegetation, or other signs of stress or problems. Our phone app, or mobile app, will make it really easy to quickly sift through all of those photos of your plots, and basically do real-time, precision, in the field scouting with the drone data.”
Hearst says they’re looking to keep their prices low, around one cent per plot, to encourage users to use their drones as often as possible.
Progeny Drone recently received a $60,000 award from Purdue’s AG-Celerator, which aims to help startups looking to commercialize Purdue intellectual property, and $50,000 from the National Science Foundation.