Kenya: Student invents drone capable of detecting water-poor areas

Boubacar Diallo

African creative genius has not said its last word in advanced technology. A young Kenyan has just achieved a feat considered “remarkable” by several media including “Africa Top Success”.

This is Arnold Bett, a student at the University of Nairobi and an electronics researcher, who has just developed a drone. The drone is powered by rechargeable batteries, has a range of 200 meters in height, weighs 2.5 kg and could carry a standard camera with special sensors.

To test the performance of his drone, Bett has already used it to collect valuable data on growing potatoes in neighboring Tanzania, reports “Africa Top Success”. With the ambition to commercialize it, Bett presented his masterpiece at an exhibition of recent innovations in Nairobi, in the presence of the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, who, he explains, was surprised that he cannot fly the craft locally.

“The president was impressed with our technology. The only thing he didn’t really understand is that we are doing it in Tanzania and partly because we don’t have licenses to fly drones in Kenya, but it’s very easy to get a license in Tanzania and that’s just our main challenge, “said Bett, quoted by” Africa News “.

Indeed, Bett is not allowed to fly his drone in Kenya, even though he has been able to use it in Tanzania, the media maintains. The Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is expected to draft regulations governing the use of drones in Kenya. Currently to operate a drone, you must obtain an authorization from the KCAA and the Ministry of Defense.

But already, researchers say that the Octocopter was able to identify 14 varieties of sweet potatoes in the fields in Mwanza, Tanzania thanks to remote sensing by drone. This innovation in data collection is hailed as “revolutionary” by researchers, because according to them, “it costs less, offers more details and allows scientists to analyze large-scale projects without the use of satellites” . Drones can detect sick crops or water-scarce areas, which can help map irrigation systems, the researchers point out.

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