Intelligent Sprayer Reduces Pesticide Use and Saves Money!

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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.

 

https://news.osu.edu/the-worlds-first-intelligent-sprayer/#:~:text=The%20intelligent%20sprayer%20development%20arose,the%20USDA%2DAgricultural%20Research%20Service.&text=Lasers%20detect%20the%20tree%20canopy,of%20the%20sprayer's%2040%20nozzles.

 

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

 

pack blast

 

using a 3 point hitch and uses a Smart Guided Systems controller

 

smart guide

 

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

 

filter

 

to keep the laser clean. The laser sees the plant foliage and sends a signal to the control module

 

control module

 

which opens and closes solenoids

 

solenoid

 

to trigger nozzles

 

nozzles

 

to release pesticides.

 

spraying

 

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.