From the Science Network of Western Australia:

A REVOLUTIONARY homemade unmanned aerial vehicle is being used by the Department of Food and Agriculture in Albany to help eradicate a noxious weed threatening local bushland.

The “quadcopter” enables weed control workers to carry out “search and destroy” missions on Sydney Golden Wattle trees that are difficult or impossible to reach by conventional means.

Unknown in Albany before the early 1980s, the wattle is now at plague proportions and will have overrun more than 20 per cent of native bushland by 2020 if left unchecked.

The invention is the brainchild of department senior research officer John Moore, who designed and built it over 18 months.

Mr Moore used readily-available, inexpensive high-tech gadgetry and computer components to create the quadcopter for about $1000, a tiny investment when compared to commercial equivalents that can cost up to $30,000.

Popular among aviation hobbyists, the quadcopter has been around for some time.

What makes Mr Moore’s version unique is the way it has been set up to not only locate small stands or individual weeds, but to photograph them and then spray them with weed killer.

(Via Hackaday)

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