The seminar was organised by the Melbourne Networked Society Institute (MNSI)

The Digital Viticulture seminar was a success with around 45 attendants from the academia, research and industry. In that occasion it was presented project advances so far and potential applications in the viticultural industry using sensor network and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

However, all the technology and algorithms developed are not only applicable to viticulture, but also to a variety of other Horticultural and Agricultural crops and beyond. Some of the techniques related to visible and infrared thermography developed has been applied to assess biometrics in humans for sensory analysis of food and brewages and in animals to assess stress levels in productive processes, such as in the dairy industry.

According to Dr Sigfredo Fuentes, new and emerging technologies are easy to implement in precision agriculture, obtaining meaningful and repeatable interpretations of the data is where the applied science plays a big role. He mentioned the case of the newly developed smartphone and tablet PC App: VitiCanopy┬áthat can be downloaded from iTunes. “The VitiCanopy App was developed three years ago from technology that has been studied since 2007, its release to the public was last October 2015 after several trials to validate it in Chile, Spain and Australia. The beauty of the App is that it has been applied successfully in Apple orchards, Eucalyptus forests, Cherry trees, Cocoa orchards and Olive trees.

It was also shown in the seminar a prototype UAS made with 3D printed parts using a 3D metal powder printer (Titanium). The objective of this technology according to Dr Richard Collmann is to decrease the weight of UAS to increase payload for remote sensors and obtain more information per flights. Dr Collmann also discussed prototypes to change batteries automatically to increase flight time of UAS.

The seminar will be available as a podcast soon and posted in this webpage.