Yuliya Krasylenko

Druid Drone – a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with multifunctional manipulator for mistletoe research and tree care – was patented in Ukraine

International Druid Drone team (Ukraine-Czech Republic) developed a novel small unmanned aircraft vehicle equipped with a multifunctional manipulator designed for sampling and observation of trees and tree-dwelling organisms such as mistletoes, as well as for assistance in tree care. This lightweight backpack-size system joins an off-the-shelf unmanned aircraft system, or drone platform based on DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Air 2 and Phantom 3, with the 3D-printed functional units of manipulator connected via the designed stabilizing platform with carbon fiber tube and operated using an off-the-shelf Taranis control panel and aerial FPV (first-person view) headset goggles. The applicability and technical details of the proposed device are exemplified by several case studies testing specific functional units of the Druid Drone: Secator (mistletoe cutting), Sampler (collecting mistletoe leaves/twigs for various studies (phytopathological, microbiological, anatomical, biochemical, etc.)), and Observer (close non-invasive inspection of mistletoe-nesting birds). To validate the method, mistletoe samples were collected in Ukraine and the Czech Republic. The Druid Drone is positioned using GPS and stabilized gyroscopically. The suggested approach offers a handy solution not only for mistletoe sampling and management but also for tree care in general. The patent number is UA 148100 U https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352934371_Universalnij_manipulator_dla_bezpilotnogo_litalnogo_aparata_z_funkciami_doslidzenna_ta_obrobki_derev_patent_148100_data_vidaci_30062021_r_prioritet_vid_31032021_r_UA_148100_U