With the world’s population on a fast track to hitting 8 billion, preventing food insecurity has never been as important.
At the same time, with approximately 51 million km2 (50%) of all habitable land on Earth being used for agriculture, monitoring crop health to ensure people always have food on the table is no longer a task farm workers can accomplish. There is simply too much ground to cover.
To that end, 4G-powered drones have been an emerging solution these past few years. The idea is that drones can cover more ground than people, detect and analyze crop health faster and with greater accuracy, and can do so pretty much 24/7. So why aren’t they flying over every piece of agricultural land on the planet? As with most things IoT, it all comes down to the smallest of details.
As incredible as drones are, their efficiency requires a level of latency 4G networks struggle to maintain. A momentary lapse between command and execution makes controlling the drones in real-time difficult, and can result in the drones colliding with one another. This isn’t particularly good for the crops, as you might imagine, nor for the safety of farm workers.