Category Archives: Projects

Scientific Research Paper

Herpetological Conservation and Biology 10(1):90-98. Submitted: 9 September 2014; Accepted: 2 March 2015; Published: 14 June 2015.

Use of Drone Technology as a Tool for Behavioral Research: A Case Study of Crocodilian Nesting

Luke J. Evans1,2,5, T. Hefin Jones1 , Keeyen Pang3 , Meaghan N. Evans1,2 , Silvester Saimin4 and Benoit Goossens1,2,4

 

1Organisms and Environment Division, Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX, UK 2Danau Girang Field Centre, c/o Sabah Wildlife Department, Wisma Muis, 5th Floor, Block B, Kota Kinabalu 88100, Malaysia 3Hornbill Surveys Sdn Bhd, Lot 9, Harapan Baru Light Ind Estate, Mile 8, Jalan Labuk, Sandakan 90009, Malaysia 4Sabah Wildlife Department, Wisma Muis, 5th Floor, Block B, Kota Kinabalu 88100, Malaysia 5Corresponding author, e-mail: evansl26@cardiff.ac.uk

Use of Drone Technology as a Tool for Behavioral Research: A Case Study of Crocodilian Nesting

Searching crocodile nest with new technology

My sweet orangutan specialist

 

 

20 June 2015

P_20150620_105532_HDR

Dona, WWF Sabah orangutan research program leader using drone to detect orangutan nest. This type of mission require the drone to fly as low as possible to get better resolution images. We are flying at 80 to 100 meter and the result is quite promising. According to her, our drone spot more orangutan nest than the very expensive and high risk helicopter survey, for which has been the SOP for most researcher.

We are currently developing a new multirotor drones which can carry a 24 MP micro 4/3 camera and fly for 12 KM.  We are optimistic that our new drone will complement helicopter and ground survey very well.

The following images show orangutan nests found in one of our flight mission images.

 

 

IMG_8246

 

Net recovery is a great method to retrieve drone in tight space

A Minister witness our drone demo at Mount Kinabalu

10 June 2015

Kinabalu 3

A few days after the most severe earthquake  at Mount Kinabalu, we are call to fly a mapping mission at the mountain area. Little did we know that the Minister of Multi Media and Telecommunication were there for a briefing related to the disaster. The Minister want to use drone for fast and accurate assessment of the affected area and we fly a demo flight for him.

P_20150610_122151_HDRP_20150610_100657_HDR

P_20150610_100540_HDR

 

After the demo, we fly a mapping mission at Laban Rata. This is the most difficult UAV mission I’ve encounter. Our drone fail to take off due to thin air at high altitude where our take off point is 1800 meter above sea level. After some modification, we try the mission again next day. This time it take off successfully, climb another 2400 meter before reaching Laban Rata. I think  my drone had dug deep in it’s pocket, there was one stretch where it apply full throttle and up elevator but it continue to sink for 30 meter. Wind and turbulence was quite tough there.  35 minutes later it return safely to the base.

P_20150612_082226

This video is generated using the images taken by the drone.

Some interesting images taken by the drone during the mission

Kinabalu Kinabalu 2 Kinabalu 1

 

Drone flying in Down Under

25 May 2015

Invited by Prof Lian Pin Khoo, University of Adelaide, we have the opportunity to fly our drone at the amazing Arid Recovery, 6 hour drive from Adelaide city.  The map generated by the drone will help researchers in their relative research field. But we have great fun flying at such a huge and flat land. P_20150525_111326P_20150525_124808

We also take the opportunity to train some of the researcher to handle their drone.

P_20150524_142917P_20150525_145135P_20150525_145256

Presentation for a Sarawak plantation

29 April 2015

United Team Truck Plantation, one of the leading plantation company base in Sarawak using our UAV mapping service to map one of their plantation. We spend three days to cover 4000 Ha of plantation land. Before we start our flying mission, a UAV presentation for the plantation management staff to help them understanding the advantage of real time, high resolution and geo reference map to their daily management task.

P_20150429_091347_HDR

Indonesia plantation company using our drone to improve productivity

10 April 2015

Cargill’s West Kalimantan plantation decided to use our drone to  improve their productivity and better decision making base on real time images acquire from the drone. A team of 8 persons from their GIS  and plantation management team come for a 4 days UAV training.

P_20150408_165902

P_20150410_175453P_20150410_154442

Our furthest visitor todate, Vanessa from Saychelles

17 March 2015

Vanessa, a sea turtle researcher attach to  Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles spend 28 hours to travel to our place for a UAV training session. A mother of two who had no experience in radio control model what so ever manage to fly our drone after two days of training.

P_20150316_171154P_20150317_174143

Supporting WWF Nepal

13 Feb 2015

Chitwan National Park is a world heritage property.  The park rangers are using drone for anti poaching and general surveillance purpose.  We are there to help the teams solve a few issues and a refreshing training for their staff.

P_20150213_140911P_20150213_115519P_20150212_085833_HDRP_20150212_150848

Forest canopy study for ETH University

8 Feb 2015

Dr Chris Kettle of ETH University with a group of undergraduate students using our drone to help their study of forest canopy and related subject. Sipilok , Sandakan

P_20150208_145530_HDR

HBS FX 79 Demo in IJM Plantation Bhd

Should you curious how I look and sounds like, this video should serve the purpose  : )

HBS FX 79 long range video/Mapping UAV is our latest system with long range and endurance capability. It can easily fly for one hour and a total range of about 50 KM depends on weather condition.

Flying at 300 meter with a Canon S100 GPS camera on board, we used to cover 500 to 600 Ha per mission flight. It can carry more battery for even longer flight time and range, but personally I feel that an hour of flight time is just nice for typical mapping operation. For some reason, our CHDK hack Canon S 100 can operate for the most 59 minutes, anything more than that it will not shut down when the time is due. Landing with the camera still operating will most likely hurt the lens retract mechanism. Putting more battery will also increase weight and make hand launch more difficult.

This UAV system is more suitable for advance user who have previous experience in UAV operation especially the ability to manually land the drone. Being a flying wing design, it will require more space and skill to land it properly.

For new user, we highly recommend our Skywalker base UAV or FX 61 base UAV. Both are very user friendly and easy to control.