The cost of pesticides can be one of the single largest expenses to a commercial nursery. By using the technology of a “Smart Sprayer”, a company can reduce pesticide use and save money without a reduction in pest control.
The technology was developed by OSU and USDA. The intelligent sprayer development arose from a collaboration between Ohio State researchers and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service. It was led by Heping Zhu, an Ohio State adjunct professor and USDA agricultural engineer.
A local nursery purchased a “Smart Sprayer” and was one of the first in Lake County to use a prototype developed by Heping Zhu and his team.
The sprayer uses a Pak Blast Sprayer mounted on the back of a tractor
using a 3 point hitch and uses a Smart Guided Systems controller
to detect foliage and articulate spray nozzles to apply product to plant tissue.
Keeping the Laser clean has always been a challenge. Smart Guided Systems use a filtration system
to keep the laser clean. The laser sees the plant foliage and sends a signal to the control module
which opens and closes solenoids
to trigger nozzles
to release pesticides.
The goal of the technology is to save money, reduce pesticide use, which should help to pay for the cost of the sprayer in savings. The use is a win-win for the nursery and the environment.