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FITOSTINGER: PEST CONTROL DRONE

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FitoStinger (FITOSTINGER: PEST CONTROL DRONE)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2020-01-31

At FitoStinger S.L. we have combined the recent advances in artificial intelligence and drone technology to create an innovative solution for the pest control industry.
We start specifically targeting the problem of Pine Processionary Caterpillars (PPC), which is an increasingly common and hazardous pest found in pine trees across the Mediterranean arch. In trees PCC causes severe defoliation weakening the tree making it more susceptible to drought, fungus, forest fires etc. For people it is especially harmful due to the caterpillars urticating’s hairs which disperse through the air causing serious skin injuries, even triggering anaphylaxis in sensitive people. But during the SME Phase I, we reached the conclusion that we need to accelerate the incorporation of new pest control services was detected, expanding our range of treatments and readapting our systems to these pests. In addition to developing new application tools to meet this objective. As well as having the ability to offer effective solutions to combat some plagues that are generating more concern among the population, such as velutine wasp, black fly and tiger mosquito, all very dangerous for the health of society.
FitoStinger’s innovative method uses automated drones equipped with artificial vision and a specially designed and patented lance that allows the pesticide to be injected directly into the nest without affecting the surrounding area. Our method is fast, effective and environmentally friendly, unlike current state-of-the-art methods that spray the entire tree with pesticides, which is harmful to other species living in the tree as well as the humans in the area. Once the project is completed the drone will be fully automated which will allow us to perform the treatment in less half the time and increase the treatable area; potentially deploying a small fleet of drones for large parks and forested areas.
We want to export our system for work around Europe territory, giving coverage to the most affected countries by the different pests and helping them to fight with an environmentally friendly and effective system. This process can take important benefits with the new laws changes in Europe about UAS operations. The new Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 of March 12, 2019 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 of May 24, 2019. Thanks to this new regulation, this kind of operations and the UAS operators will be regulated by the same rules and all the operations actions and related burocracy will be more simple.
FitoStinger, after receiving the grant for Phase 1 of the H2020 SME Instrument program, has done:
A complete turnaround in our business plan, implementing the diversification of the treatments to be carried out. We have also invested in the acquisition of a new UAV platform and a telescopic applicator arm, which allows us to attack the market by treating a plague that is spreading very rapidly, such as the Asian Wasp. We have also developed a herbicide applicator arm, to carry out applications on roofs and places that are difficult to access, such as church steeples, historic buildings, etc.
We have also been able to carry out the first pilot services of treatments against the processionary of the pine and the Asian wasp, with real clients, carrying out treatments for municipalities, and also for pest treatment and disinsection companies; which validates our expectations of considering them strategic partners for our system.
In reference to the internationalization of our service, an extensive study has been carried out, defining the most effective export strategy and finding the most attractive countries to increase sales abroad. We first identify the main market drivers for FITOSTINGER products. Based on these drivers, we have studied the attractiveness of various markets, describing all modes of market entry and presenting the recommendations and methodology for the implementation of the internationalization strategy.
Finally, a technological analysis of automation has been carried out, in order to identify the technical gaps that exist between the current prototype and the complete automation prototype that, according to the market analysis, meets the needs of customers. This task has identified the technical gaps that exist and are required to meet market requirements. This technical study has led to the definition of technical objectives for the Phase 2 project.
We can ensure that we validate our activity, our service and our application systems. We also validate that there is a demand and a need to control the chosen pests. At the same time, we validate the disruption of our applicator systems and, above all, the automated detection of the targets to be treated, becoming something that will be essential to finish turning our system into something unique.
We have also evaluated the need to rethink the business model and then establish a partner system, either based on a franchise system or the like.
Finally, the publication of new European legislation on UAS operations has benefited us substantially, given that it unifies criteria in all the countries of the Union and therefore simplifies our roadmap when it comes to operating.
Therefore, we consider that it is appropriate to continue with our business activity and that it is worth advancing in all the lines described, given that with our project, we see the possibility of growing financially with great scalability thanks to the technology developed, and generating new jobs. work, in addition to providing solutions to pests that are wreaking havoc and damage to people and animals. Also continuing with an effective and environmentally friendly solution.
Dron procesionaria, realizando tratamiento
Dron aplicador herbicida
Pruebas de dron vespa velutina