During the Amsterdam Drone Week, Wageningen students presented their UAV project to the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. Sebastian Paolini van Helfteren and Sake Alkema both students of the MSc Geo-information Science, explained to the Minister that in their thesis research not only the UAV technology but especially also the usability of the high-resolution images is investigated.
Sebastian is working on real-time classification of weeds in agricultural fields from UAV acquired RGB images. The weed maps can be used by other UAVs for site specific weed management. Sake is investigating the identification of the ‘Dotterbloem’, an indicator species for natural wetland areas using UAV acquired imagery. In both studies, machine learning techniques are used to take advantage of the high-resolution character of the acquired images. This was also demonstrated in a life demo of plant recognition at the stand of the students where the Minister tried to break the algorithm by moving of the plants. The demonstrator was kindly provided by the WUR colleagues of Farming Systems Technology.
The Amsterdam Drone week was organized for the first time from 26 till 30 November. It also hosted the High Level Conference on Drones which is preparing the harmonized EU drone legislation which is planned to be implemented in 2019. The presentation of the Wageningen students was part of a competition between different universities in the Netherlands working on UAV research. Of the 7 competing universities Wageningen was second and Delft ended first.