OpsDrone Project VLAIO COOCK

VITO, ILVO and FlandersMake share their expertise on drones and agriculture with the sector. By demonstrating operational use cases they support the uptake of drone technology.


Boosting drone-based services in agriculture

Despite their large potential, drone-based services are not yet sufficiently implemented in day-to-day operations by farmers and agrifood companies in Flanders. Within the OpsDrone project - funded by the VLAIO COOCK program - VITO, ILVO and FlandersMake share their expertise on drones and agriculture with the sector to speed up the investments in the drone technology. By diversifying the agrofood use-cases we ensure that technological solutions and business plans are tailored to a specific case.

News FTI

FTI event: 'Drones and AI for the food industry'

On Tuesday, March 19, 2024, we join FTI (Flanders Technology & Innovation)/G-STIC in Hasselt (Elfde Linie). Together we will organize workshops regarding 'Drones and AI for the food industry' (only in Dutch).

Drones and artificial intelligence have great potential for agriculture. Drones quickly and accurately scan large plots, assess harvest quality and corp homogeneity. AI algorithms analyze data to understand ripeness, growth patterns, diseases and pests.
We'll share success stories and challenges to a broad audience to show the future of agricultural technology.

Business cases and demonstration data sets 

For each of the 5 business cases, following information is made available upon request:

  • Business case template: excel templates and examples to calculate the costs & benefits of a particular drone service for your business.
  • Demonstration data set: a state-of-the-art demonstration dataset is collected & shared with interested target group companies. The demonstration data mainly serves to support the inspiration cases and to introduce target group companies to the drone services.
    They represent the current state of the art well and show the potential of the drone images. The datasets are hosted on MAPEO, a drone image processing platform developed by VITO Remote Sensing.
  • Functional workflow: this includes steps in data acquisition, data processing, AI and analytics, reporting and integration, legal and privacy implementation.
  • Technical building blocks: technical report on 5 innovative technical building blocks developed within the project (available in 2024).
    Presentations of all workshops.

If you want to get acces to this information, please SUBSCRIBE

Workshops and network-events

During a multitude of workshops and network-events, the Opsdrone project wants to:

  • Inspire business to invest in drone technology for the agrofood sector
  • Share knowledge on important technical building blocks
  • Connect the complete ecosystem of businesses, organizations and government which have common interest in the sector and technology

Individual coaching

Do you want to expand your current drone services to new markets or are you looking for information about the added value of drones?  This individual coaching approach will certainly interest you!

In many sectors drones are already taking a further step in the digitization of assets and decisions. Is your company into this digital drone gear? 

With the support of VLAIO, VITO Remote Sensing offers Flemish SME's individual coaching to shape a new drone project!

Our procedure:

  • Intake interview: we'll discuss expectations & which application domain you would like to take a closer look at to research 
  • Field campaign: We go out together to use our (or your) drone for a specific application and involve you in all steps of the workflow (planning - drone flight - processing of the images - reporting) 
  • Evaluation
    • Technical aspect of the applications bundled in a functional workflow scheme
    • Economic aspect using a business case template
    • Definition of customers/partners/subsidy channels to shape your idea

October 26, 2023, we organised another succesfull workshop  'Combining data sources'. At ILVO in Merelbeke, we delved deeper into how data should be shared correctly and efficiently.

On Monday, November 13, 2023, EUKA / Flanders Make and DronePort, in collaboration with PC Fruit, ILVO, VITO and Boerenbond, organized a new edition of the DronePort Connect sessions. This DronePort Connect session aimed at professionals from the broad agri-food sector who want to explore the future of autonomous drone applications in the agriculture and agri-food industry, as well at developers or providers of such applications who want to make new contacts. 
Keynotes and live demonstrations took place at DronePort in Sint-Truiden.

In the 2022 growing season, we investigated the use and benefits of the PhaseOne IXM 100MP camera for 3 agricultural/phenotyping applications which rely on (sub)mm resolution: wheat ear detection, disease detection in sugar beet and emergence count in lettuce.
June, 21st, 2023, we welcomed 25 participants at the AgroIncubator site of VIB in Ghent for a demonstration and discussion on the use of high resolution drone imagery and AI for agricultural applications.

February, 9th, 2023, Flanders Make organized another public workshop on 'Localization'.
In this workshop we introduced participants to SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) and its challenges. We explained how to increase the robustness of SLAM - especially for autonomous mobile robots or drones, and provided several examples and demonstrations.
It would be great to see more of this technology applied in greenhouses and support growers, breeders, ... in managing their crops.

January, 12, 2023, ILVO organized an inspiration workshop for suppliers at Agriflanders, with project partners VITO and Flanders Make.
By presenting, together with Globachem, demonstration datasets and potential business cases & by showing the possibilities of drone imagery and MAPEO, we inspired and motivated the supplier companies to think about the use of professional drone services.

One of our previous webinars on drone-based phenotyping was organised online on Thursday, 17 November 2022.
Irene Borra-Serrano (ILVO) and Dries Raymaekers (VITO) showed the possibilities of drone-based phenotyping technology to dynamically analyze crop performance in the field throughout the growing season.
Watch the recording to learn more about the use case, technology and how to get started.

Our first workshop was a technical workshop on data acquisition on November, 28, 2022 in Leuven.
Participants learned about the technology used by drones in agriculture.

  • Introduction & business case
  • Drones and sensors
  • Reference measurements
  • Agricultural products

    We also dived deeper into drawing up a scenario for the tendering of drone services.
  • Determination of product and drone service
  • Legislative framework
  • General Processing Chain
  • Integration in your own organization