The pilot starts this month, and the tests will be run continuously for 10 weeks in a test greenhouse planted with gerberas at the World Horti Center. Target: the golden twin-spot moth.

“You can best compare our drones with bats, a natural enemy of flying insects.”
Kevin van Hecke, co-founder PATS

“The objective of the pilot is not only to measure effectiveness, but also to improve the technology. The drones are taught specific flight behavior similar to the agile flight behavior of this moth”, says Sjoerd Tijmons from PATS. Kevin van Hecke, co-founder of PATS and drone researcher at Delft University of Technology adds: “You can best compare our drones with bats, a natural enemy of flying insects.”

The control of insect pests is currently mainly done with (bio)chemical and biological products. PATS Indoor Drone Solutions, a spin-off of the Delft University of Technology, changes that by deploying small drones that automate insect control and prevention.

The gerbera growers jointly offer a platform to this new technology by contributing to research and further development of the system. According to Jeroen Sanders, researcher at Demokwekerij Westland, there are currently insufficient effective means available to combat adult flying insects. “That is why this technology is a good addition to the total system approach.”

PATS sees its technology not only as an addition to the current available set of control solutions. In the long term the system must also reduce the application of (bio)insecticides for specific pests and it is expected that the grower will have to spend less time on pest monitoring and control.

When the pilot is successfully carried out, the parties involved intend to scale up and take their drones to real production environments.

Click here to read the press release.

During the GreenTech 2019 PATS will exhibit its innovation at the Start-up Lane, booth 08.205. The exhibition will take place from June 11th until the 13th in the Amsterdam RAI in The Netherlands.