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Blue White Robotics

Tel Aviv, 
Israel
http://www.bwr.co.il
  • Booth: 347

Blue White Robotics provides an operation platform for autonomous systems, to efficiently plan and operate multiple tasks from the same location on a large scale, using air & ground autonomous systems fleets - UAVs, drones and robotics.


 Press Releases

  • Project will use drones of Tel Aviv-based Blue White Robotics and Dropcopter’s pods to disperse pollen from air, replacing bees amid worker shortage due to coronavirus

    Blue and White Robotics, a drone-maker founded by Israeli Air Force veterans, has teamed up with a Syracuse, New York-based aerial crop pollination firm to carry out a large-scale pollination project in the Jordan Valley and help date growers cope with a shortage of manpower due to the coronavirus.

    The joint venture between Tel Aviv-based BWR and Syracuse’s Dropcopter will enable the artificial pollination of the dates using aerial drones, BWR said in a statement on Wednesday.

    Pollination is naturally done by bees, but the bee population is declining globally. To help growers overcome this problem, Dropcopter has developed a pod to store and dispense pollen from the air, suitable for a wide range of drones.

    Using BWR’s operating system and command and control centers, multiple pollination drones can fly simultaneously, providing on-site operations., the statement said.

    Date trees in the Jordan Valley pollinated by Blue and White Robotics and Dropcopter (Courtesy)

    After a successful preliminary experiment conducted in recent months to test palm pollination at the Arava R&D Research Institute, led by Israeli researchers, many growers contacted BWR to request pollination services in the Jordan Valley, the statement said.

    In Israel, date plantations total around 15,000 acres. Pollination, typically done using low-efficiency fans attached to tractors, is generally a four-week process, depending on weather and location, and is performed February-April. Each tree gets pollinated four times during the pollination period and requires a great deal of manpower and time that are currently unavailable due to the impact of COVID-19. The spread of the virus has closed borders and growers are finding it difficult to recruit workers locally.

    In addition, heavy rain has caused flooding in the Jordan Valley, and is presenting a “significant challenge” for growers, making it “near impossible” to do ground pollination in many areas, the statement said.

    Now, the process has been replaced with the new system that disperses pollen from the air, BWR said.

    BWR was founded in 2017 by Ben Alfi, the CEO; Yair Shahar, the chief operating officer; and Aviram Shmueli, the chief technology officer. The firm has developed a platform to manage multiple autonomous aerial and ground tools operating in the same area, that can be remotely controlled through advanced command and control centers. BWR has customers in Israel and around the world, the statement said, and operates in the fields of agriculture, transportation, security, rescue, energy, and conducts hundreds of flights daily.

    Dropcopter specializes in aerial artificial pollination of orchard crops via unmanned aircraft systems. The company conducts research into artificial pollination efficiency with the help of researchers from Cornell University and others. Dropcopter’s solution enables crops to increase yield and helps cope with the reduction of the global bee population, the statement said.

    In March, BWR obtained a $1 million investment from the US-Israeli BIRD Foundation for a project between BWR Israel and Easy Aerial USA to develop a multi-mission command and control system for various types of UAVs for national security operations. The project was selected by the US Department of Homeland Security and Israel’s Ministry of Internal Security as part of the BIRD HLS program, which aims to develop advanced homeland security technologies.

  • The large-scale project uses multipe drones flying simultaneously, equipped with innovative pods developed by Dropcopter to store and effectively dispense pollen from the air.

    Farmers located in the Jordan Valley and Arava have deployed an innovative solution to overcome labor shortages caused by the Coronavirus outbreak: aerial pollination using drones.

    Date plantation growers in the region have grown particularly concerned as border crossings were closed, precisely as they entered the critical palm tree pollination period between February and April. Recruiting local hands willing to work in peripheral areas has also proved challenging for the growers.

    To ensure continued pollination, gorwers turned to Israeli unmamnes systems operator Blue White Robotics (BWR) and New York-based drone pollinator Dropcopter, who have successfully tested drone-based palm pollination in recent months at the Arava Institute. 

    The experiment at the desert research facility was carried out in response to declining bee populations. Aerial pollination has become increasingly important due to recent flooding in the Jordan Valley, which has prevented ground pollination in many areas.

    The large-scale project uses multiple drones flying simultaneously, equipped with innovative pods developed by Dropcopter to store and effectively dispense pollen from the air. The solution replaces an alternative and inefficient technique using fans attached to tractors.

    Ori Kooper, a grower from the Jordan Valley and user of the drone pollination system, told The Jerusalem Post that eliminating the human factor in some jobs will "significantly reduce the amount of variables" in agriculture, enabling greater profits and uniform agricultural produce.

    "Growing dates from strains of Medjool require a lot of working hands and, despite all the technological solutions that we have today, the drones give us a solution that is not only faster and more efficient, but also more economical and accurate so that profits are not just doubled but tripled," said Kooper.

    With date plantations in Israel totaling some 15,000 acres and each palm tree requiring pollination on four occasions, technological solutions are key to reducing the manpower needed during the pollination period.

    https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/israeli-farmers-deploy-pollinating-drones-to-fill-covid-19-labor-shortage-625357


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