A Purdue University-affiliated startup is using drone technology to turn crop photos into useful plant and crop information. Progeny Drone Inc. has attracted funding from Purdue’s AG-Celerator and the National Science Foundation.
The company says its software platform addresses a growing need from agriculture companies that are "overwhelmed" trying to turn information from unmanned aerial vehicles into actionable data.
Chief Executive Officer Anthony Hearst says the company can convert crop photos into information in minutes, rather than days or weeks. He says speed is important because field conditions can change rapidly. He says the company’s platform can also take previously-collected data from prior growing seasons or analyze data from research plots.
The company says it is targeting seed companies and agronomic research groups. Ultimately, it hopes to market its platform to individual farmers as well.
Progeny Drone recently received a $60,000 award from Purdue’s AG-Celerator, which aims to help startups looking to commercialize Purdue intellectual property. It was also accepted into the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Program, which includes a $50,000 grant to boost customer and market research.