Aerodyne expands precisionAg in SE Asia, Brazil

  • December 4, 2023
  • William Payne

Drone maker Aerodyne has developed new precision agriculture applications that combine drone technology with AWS data lake and AI technologies. DRONOS is an end-to-end drone service platform that allows users to onboard, analyse, and make sense of drone data to optimise operations and conduct aerial inspections to keep workers safely on the ground.

The service is used for surveillance, crop monitoring and infrastructure inspection in precision agriculture as well as telecommunications, logistics and energy across 45 countries.

Aerodyne created a data lake on AWS using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store and turn drone data, including images, satellite, agriculture, and weather data, into actionable insights. Using Amazon SageMaker, a service to build, train, and deploy machine learning (ML) models, the company automates infrastructure analysis on agricultural land, farming installations and mobile phone towers.

The company has developed the DRONOS-powered Agrimor platform, which allows farmers and agriculture service providers to use drones for agriculture seeding, spraying, plant analysis, and mapping—increasing crop yields by as much as 67%. Independent farmers to large palm oil plantation companies in Malaysia and Indonesia are using Agrimor to rapidly identify crop issues, like under-irrigation or disease, and deploy fertilisers or pesticides more efficiently, saving resources and ultimately driving food security and farmland profitability. Aerodyne will widen the availability of its Agrimor offering to Brazil, India, and Pakistan in the coming years.

The company also helps cellular tower operators verify the physical conditions of towers and available space for new antennae, cutting labour time down from two days to three hours. Aerodyne has reduced customers’ cellular tower operational costs by an average of 20% and manual data processing costs by more than 70% compared with on-premises infrastructure.

“Working with AWS has significantly transformed our ability to resolve complex industrial challenges, expand to more countries, and deepen our footprint in the global drone community. Our exponential growth is only made possible by scaling our workloads on AWS to meet rising user demand,” said Kamarul A. Muhamed, founder and group CEO at Aerodyne. “Through the agility of the cloud and the use of machine learning, we can bring valuable data together to help people across agriculture, telecommunications, and energy industries make faster and better decisions about their assets on the ground. We are very proud of our DRONOS solution and what it has already achieved for mobile phone operators and are excited to replicate that success for other sectors.”

Aerodyne plans to experiment with AWS’s generative artificial intelligence (generative AI) capabilities to build a large language model that can help companies better plan drone flights and visualise close to 1 petabyte of drone data, including insights from digital twins, which are virtual representations of physical infrastructure, like towers, solar farms, or wind turbines. These digital twins will help Aerodyne’s customers centralise the management of physical assets by combining images and environmental data in real time.

“Startups around the world rely on AWS to help them cost-effectively and rapidly transform into data-driven companies, and drone services are a prime example of how the latest cloud technologies and generative AI can revolutionise an entire industry,” said Conor McNamara, vice president of ASEAN at AWS. “Malaysian-born startup Aerodyne is rapidly going global with AWS, delivering its innovative drone service to customers around the world and helping them turn insights from geospatial data into meaningful outcomes. Aerodyne’s DRONOS platform is also helping solve complex issues, like food security, with the transformative power of AI, and we’re excited to support Aerodyne’s next phase of global expansion.”