On 27 February 2020, at the Fruitnet World of Fresh Ideas just prior to Fruit Logistica 2020, Dutch drone developer PATS released the official demo video of its automated solution for selectively eradicating insect pests in protected cropping facilities.
PATs’ tiny bat-like drone is “an artificial predator” that hunts down flying insects such as moths and eradicates them in mid-air, states PATS. Imitating natural flying-insect predators such as bats and dragonflies, the micro drone, claims its maker, “automates insect control for horticulture… revolutionising an industry with a sustainable solution to keep your crops pest-free”.
The PATS base station scans its environs for insects and when a harmful one is detected, launches a drone to chase the offending pest and kill it mechanically mid-air before returning to base.
The bio-inspired drone is able to eradicate flying insect pests from greenhouses safely and reliably, cutting labour and pesticide costs. it even manages to scare cats.
Check out the drone’s fly-through here.