KITV: Hamakua Springs Volunteers Acres For Testing

Richard Ha writes:

Did you catch the KITV news last night? Here’s a link to our story Hamakua Springs Volunteering Hundreds of Acres For Testing

Take a look at this photo. I was receiving instructions on how to fly the small chopper in Ted Ralston’s hand.  

Ted Ralston and Richard Ha

I actually launched it, flew it around and spotted a banana clump, which we were able to look at. We saw how different heights affected the screen resolution.

It was very easy to operate, and at a cost of $1500 to $2000, it’s very affordable compared to a real chopper at $500,000. With one of these, we could check around our three streams for invasive species and plan our strategy. We could make a long-term plan for our property based on terrain, soil fertility, etc.

We would coordinate with our neighbors, too, and offer to help them with aerial photos and such. It’s very interesting.

2 thoughts on “KITV: Hamakua Springs Volunteers Acres For Testing”

  1. Aloha Richard, saw the article about uav agricultural applications. The big thing happening right now is getting infrared cameras on them, on a consumer level. There are a couple nice ones coming but this guy figured out how to modify a $40 video camera to an IR camera.

    The attached is my ardrone. The one you are shown with has a much more powerful transciever, looks like it might need to be licensed. So, mine is wifi, an android tablet, shoulder harness (looks geeky but really allows hands free) and using a PS3 controller. The ardrone is capable of acrobatics but I am still learning it in-doors. Tried it outside, ended up getting a cinder stuck between the propeller and shroud, threw it off like a slingshot, made the whole thing go out of balance and crashed into a papaya tree. It seemed to be really messed up but a hard reset fixed it, so it’s good to go again. Your point about helicopter cost compared to uav cost was right on target. – Ted

  2. Hi Ted and Richard,
    I’ve also done experiments with a UAV (3DR Hexa-C) to try to take aerials of my tea farm on the Big Island. So far, it has been really hard to fly, and on the second flight the tradewinds caught it at 100 feet and slammed it into a tall eucalypt, where the $900 UAV and $600 camera promptly vanished. (A tree crew is still looking for it a week later.) I am hoping these things get more reliable and robust, especially to wind!

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