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FarmSense debuts FlightSensor technology

Company officials say this technology features remote field monitoring and real-time insect classification

FarmSense has announced the debut of  its FlightSensor technology that helps farmers improve insect monitoring and crop management through artificial intelligence and analytics, say company officials. 

FarmSense officials say FlightSensor uses novel optical sensor technology to automate the process of real-time insect classification and counting. They add it provides  immediate access for farmers to make critical decisions on crop and pest control. 
"FarmSense's technology is a real game-changer," said Mark Hoddle, a field entomologist and an early customer at the University of California-Riverside, in a company news release. "The insect analytics they provide allows me to really understand what is happening in specific areas of the orchard in near real-time. Better yet, the data are accessible via my phone and downloadable for analysis making quick decisions easy." 

Real-World Application 
The smart system started as an academic collaboration, but co-founders Eamonn Keogh and Shailendra Singh quickly identified the benefits of real-world application. 
"The machine learning community examines data in so many other areas, like healthcare and credit scoring, but surprisingly, no one was tackling entomology," said Keogh in a company news release. "This technology virtually eliminates the need for sticky traps and manual insect counts." 
The FarmSense monitoring system can help farmers lower pesticide and insecticide use by optimizing their application in both space and time, say company officials. Data is sent wireless to the FarmSense cloud. The sensor comes in a variety of sizes, and the algorithm can be adjusted depending on what insects a farmer needs to monitor, say company officials.
To develop the technology, the FarmSense team obtained $7.5 million in academic funding including multiple Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Awards, the Vodafone Wireless Innovation Award, and multiple National Science Foundation Awards. Most recently the company was awarded three SBIR awards to commercialize their technology. 

The FarmSense Smart Pest Monitoring System is currently offered only to selected partners, but it will be available all in January 2021

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