Drone catches pests
In Vertify’s research departments in Zwethlaan in Honselersdijk, research is currently underway in which drones and cameras supplied by PATS combat pests. What is PATS, and what does it do? Vertify talked to founder Bram Tijmons, who gave a glimpse into the research being carried out. World Horti Center is following these developments closely.
PATS develops solutions for greenhouse horticulture that combat pests intelligently. PATS came into being in response to the declining use and effectiveness of permitted crop protection products, the labour shortage, and market demand. Bram: ‘The cameras suspended in the greenhouses follow insects, and send drones to intercept them. A PATS drone resembles a bat with a propeller that flies towards the pests. The adult insect is eliminated, preventing it from laying eggs.’
PATS is conducting research with Vertify on insect behaviour. ‘Our equipment is suspended in greenhouses containing vegetable, fruit and floriculture crops,’ says Bram. 'Research is being conducted into insect behaviour, and how the population evolves. This generates knowledge that can be used to combat these pests. If we know how insects behave, it’s easier for us to create a strategy for using crop protection products. This research has helped us get to the stage where we can now identify moths from day 1, a 5-week advantage over the old method; 1 entire generation.' This research setup is also being used to conduct hunting tests with drones.
The cameras identified how moths move in a section with gerberas. The images in the video below show this. The movements captured by the cameras are enough to study the behaviour of the insects and reveal how the population evolves.
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