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Latest News


XAG Displayed the Promising Future of Agriculture Drone at the 3rd Drone World Congress

June 22, SHENZHEN – The 3rd Drone World Congress 2019, in conjunction with the 4th Shenzhen International UAV Expo, was held in Shenzhen, China, from June 20th to 22nd. Themed with “Better Technology, Better Life”, the congress emphasised the industry applications of drones in agriculture, public safety, land management, civil aviation, environmental protection, disaster rescue, etc. Over 400 enterprises worldwide were present at the event with more than 1000 set of drones and other latest cutting-edge technologies such as AI, IoT and robotics. As a leading agriculture technology company and industrial UAV manufacturer, XAG has developed its own patented agriculture drones, sensors and other digital farming tools for precision spraying, granule spreading and mapping. To date, XAG has conducted UAV plant protection services on over 6 million hectares of farmlands and served 4.74 million farmers.  In the expo, XAG demonstrated its drone-based smart agriculture solutions on how to sustainably grow crops and effectively manage farmlands with less chemical use. Perfectly designed for precision agriculture, the XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS is equipped with the industry-graded SUPERX3 Pro RTK flight control system which provides high-accuracy navigation at centimetre level while enabling fully autonomous flying and obstacle avoidance at all kinds of terrains. Its intelligent spraying system can atomise liquids into micron-level droplets and significantly reduce drifting so that pesticides are precisely applied to the target area. The XMission Multifunctional UAS, light and foldable, can be mounted with various cameras modules for field mapping, remote sensing monitoring and data collection on crop growth. It can precisely conduct aerial operation with ease in different scenarios and accomplish 2D/3D terrain modelling for complex environment. The congress also hosted 30 parallel forums and invited 300 internationally recognised industry experts to discuss the future prospect of UAV technology as well as defining industry standards. Peng Bin, Founder and CEO of XAG, gave a keynote speech about the future of agriculture drone at the International Conference of Precision Agricultural Aviation, addressing the pivotal role of drone technology in building a sustainable agriculture ecosystem. Not only drones have been effectively utilised to establish digital farming infrastructure and transform the traditional agriculture production approach, but with the vast troves of data collected, they also lay the foundation to achieve a traceable food value chain as well as generating AI-based agriculture solutions. Drone has become a bigger part of smart farming future. Particularly, Peng shared stories on how XAG has been helping farmers increase food productivity and improve their livelihood, for example, by applying drones to orchard management and rice direct seeding. Traditionally, managing orchards, especially the ones located on mountainous or hilly terrains, is a physically difficult and time-consuming task, since fruit growers had to manually collect data and conduct hand spraying for pest control. Now, farmers can free themselves from an overwhelming amount of physical labour, through the collaboration between drone and AI technology. XAI identifies the location of fruit trees based on HD mapsFirst, the centimetre-level surveying UAS XMission flies over the orchard to capture high-definition field images with minimal errors. Then, XAG Agriculture Intelligence (XAI) is set to carry out intelligent analysis of the orchards, automatically identifying the boundaries and obstacles as well as calculating the statistics of fruit trees. The position of each fruit tree, including its centre and perimeter, can even be accurately pinpointed with the recall ratio and precision ratio reaching as high as 98.60% and 98.04% respectively. These AI-backed HD maps can be directly applied to XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS for autonomous, precise spraying over the targeted area. Users only need to pre-set flight and spraying parameters before the drone operation automatically kicks off. In addition, agriculture drones are also being leveraged to empower farmers for precision seeding. When more and more countries are facing the intractable problem of agriculture labour shortage and increasing labour costs in rural areas, the old-fashioned seeding approach heavily relying on physical work is in dire need of disruption.In Zhejiang Province, China, farmers spread rice seeds by bare handsIn terms of rice field seeding, a walking-type transplanter, requiring 3 to 4 labours to operate, can only cover 2 hectares of farmlands per day. And most granule spreading drones currently available in the market do not have an optimised design to guarantee output volume or spreading accuracy. By contrast, based on the P Series plant protection UAS platform, XAG has designed the JetSeed? Granule Spreading System which, with high-speed airflows and rolling feeder, can project demanded dosage of seeds and fertilisers uniformly into wherever it is needed. The efficiency of drone operation proves to reach up to 5 hectares per hour, 150 times faster than manual seeding and 5 time faster than the high-speed transplanter. XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS flies over the field to spread rice seedsThe future of agriculture drone is full of endless possibilities, as its application scenarios are constantly expanding from plant protection, field mapping to seeding. This new technology might make an impact on other territories such as fishery, forestry, ecological restoration and disease control. By incorporating drone, AI, IoT and cloud computing technology into the management of crops, XAG will continue to accelerate the inclusive development of smart farming, increasing food production without consuming excessive resources or compromising food quality.  
2019-06-23 17:34

Beyond UAV: XAG Showcases its Intelligent Strength for Smart Agriculture at Global New Economy Conference 2019.

June 12, SHANGHAI – XAG has shared its alluring prospects to transform the agriculture sector with artificial intelligence at the Global New Economy Conference 2019 held in Shanghai from June 12th to 14th. Organised by EqualOcean and co-hosted by Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, the conference was structured around the theme “Technology and Innovation Lead the New Era of Intelligence” and brought together over 200 top global experts to discuss the emerging trend and future vision of the intelligence-driven economy, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence, 5G, New Energy and Intelligent Manufacturer. As the only agriculture technology company to attend the conference, XAG has demonstrated a promising future of smart agriculture empowered by intelligent technologies. At the Conference’s Germany-U.S-China Intelligence Vision Forum, Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG, delivered a keynote speech about how XAG is helping to improve agricultural productivity while reducing environmental footprints on the planet, through the convergence of drone, precision spraying technology, AI and IoT system. According to Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (FAO), the global population will exceed 10 billion by 2050 whereas the arable land will hardly increase. This means that the world needs to get rid of the traditionally labour-intensive, resource-consuming farming pattern to sustain the future survival of human beings. In his speech, Justin Gong introduced the intelligent agriculture solutions developed by XAG, underscoring its commitment to building digital farming infrastructure, such as high definition maps and centimetre RTK navigation network, promoting autonomous agri-machines and strengthening the connectivity between farmers and consumers. Particularly, AI has already been applied to the fields to enable precision agriculture with the objective of growing more with less. Through deep learning, XAG Agriculture Intelligence (XAI) can accurately recognise field edges even in segmented lands, locate the position of each fruit tree in orchard and identify the cotton opening rate, as well as detecting rice weeds and crop diseases that are difficult to distinguish by human eyes. This comes AI prescription map which makes variable-rate application become practical. AI will undoubtedly make an impact on the agriculture labour market by replacing some of the so called “dirty jobs” while resolving the increasing labour shortage within the sector. With smart technologies unleashing unprecedented potential to empower smallholders, farming will become a cooler, more competitive occupation with respect and dignity.
2019-06-12 13:18

How XAG is Leveraging AI Technology to Transform Agriculture? AI for Good Global Summit Explained the Details.

June 1, Switzerland – The 3rd AI for Good Global Summit, a leading United Nation platform for multilateral dialogue on Artificial Intelligence (AI), was kicked off in Geneva, Switzerland, May 28-31. As the only Chinese agri-tech company to join the Summit, XAG presented its innovative solutions of combining drones with AI and IoT technology to achieve precision agriculture and induce transformational changes to the food system. Bringing together over 1,200 interdisciplinary participants from 200 countries, the AI for Good Global Summit connects AI innovators with problem owners to identify practical applications of AI to accelerate process towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as ending hunger, advancing education and mitigating climate change. Speakers from industry giants such as Microsoft, Google, Mastercard, IBM, Airbus, Siemens, Danone and Roland Berger were present at the Summit. “Zero Hunger” is one of the 17 UN SDGs expected to be achieved by 2030. According to the United Nations, up to 80% of food consumed in most developing countries are produced by smallholder farmers who, however, account for approximately 50% of the 815 million people suffering from hunger worldwide. At the Summit’s session on AI and Agriculture, Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG, together with other panel experts from Microsoft, Tata Group and Connecterra has proposed projects and initiatives to exploit new possibilities of AI technology to improve food security and end hunger. Make AI-driven Precision Agriculture Practical  Artificial Intelligence, through continuously analysing massive data related to climate, lands, crop growing, etc., while automatically designing and optimising algorithms for decision-making, can help farmers diagnose plant diseases, predict natural disasters and employ appropriate resources to close the yield gap. At XAG, AI-powered intelligent devices such as drones and sensors have been leveraged to establish digital farming infrastructure in rural areas and enable precision agriculture which, for example, accurately target pesticides, seeds, fertilisers and water to wherever it is needed. “The diffusion of AI innovations is nonlinear,” said Justin Gong. “Unlike releasing new drugs or medicine which would totally disrupt the market, AI technologies are learning from countless applications and gradually entering our daily life.”Justin Gong delivered a keynote speechFor the past five years, XAG has conducted UAS plant protection services on over 6 million hectares of farmlands, covering 255 crop varieties from rice and wheat to cotton and fruit trees. This has reduced more than 6000 tons of pesticides and fertilisers while conserving 1.4 million tons of agricultural water. In the meantime, when drones flying over the fields to conduct missions and intelligent sensors monitoring the field condition, these terminal devices have collected an enormous amount of agriculture production data which trains XAG Agriculture Intelligence (XAI) to become smarter. There have been some promising examples of introducing AI to agricultural applications. Since tapping into the agriculture sector in 2013, XAG firstly embarked on transforming the plant protection process by developing drones equipped with centimetre-level RTK navigation system and intelligent rotary atomisation spraying system. Owing to the AI engine analysing real-time spraying data and flight logs, the flight control system of XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS can automatically optimise flight path, calibrate flight accuracy, detect obstacles and predict possible malfunction to ensure safe, precise operation during autonomous flying.Fully autonomous night operation by XAG P Series Plant Protection UASBesides, XAI has been developed to dig up the values behind field images and generate AI prescription map to assist high-precision operation. In the case of orchard management, farmers use XMission Multifunctional UAS mounted with a mapping camera to take high-definition images of the orchards. Based on the 1:500 HD field images, XAI can automatically identify the boundaries and obstacles as well as calculating the statistic of fruit trees in each orchard. The position of each fruit tree, including its centre and perimeter, can be accurately pinpointed, with the recall ratio and precision ratio reaching as high as 98.60% and 98.04% respectively. Thousands of fruit trees can be simultaneously located by XAI in only one second.Fruit tree locating and edge recognition by XAIWhen analysing remote sensing images, XAI can go further to detect pests, weeds and diseases, recognise cotton boll opening rate as well as monitoring crop growth of a certain farmland. This enable AI prescription service which provides intelligent guidance for precision spraying. Business Model Innovation Comes Along with AI and Drone Through the development of Agriculture Intelligence, XAG has also driven collaboration between multi-stakeholders including farmers, service providers and traditional agriculture companies to promote a new business model that benefits all sides. As Gong presented, the cotton production business in Xinjiang, China has been disrupted by the diffusion of AI and drone technology. Compared to picking cotton by hand in the past, local farmers now primarily use large ground-based machines such as tractors to harvest cotton. Traditionally, in order to ensure a better-quality machine harvest, farmers tend to spray multiple times of defoliant to remove all the cotton leaves. This approach would cause overdosing that wastes a large amount of water and chemicals. XAI identifies the cotton opening rateWith four years’ field experiments on deep learning, image segmentation and convolutional neural network, XAG has taken the lead in utilising drones and AI to reduce the use and residue of defoliant. A large-scale cotton defoliation operation has even been initiated in Xinjiang during autumn 2018. Specifically, XAI could predict the cotton opening time and determine the best time to conduct spraying, through the analysis of meteorological data and the cotton growing status. Then, the amount of defoliant needed for different patches of land would be calculated to form an AI prescription map and therefore enable precision spraying. Multi-spectrum image of cotton fieldfThis has completely changed the game for agriculture production. In the past, due to information asymmetry and lack of professional farming knowledge, farmers heavily relied on chemical distributors to decide what to buy and how much should be applied to the crops. Now with new technologies bridging the gap, the traditional chemical distributors must transform themselves to providing more reliable, guaranteed service based on the AI prescription map. As for the big players, Bayer, one of the biggest agrochemical producers, has partnered with XAG in developing UAS-specialised chemicals and delivering safer, more cost-effective plant protection service to farmers. Precision spraying based on AI prescription mapAI-backed Digital Finance for Smallholders Another problem that XAG is trying to solve is lack of financial resources in the rural regions of developing countries. Smallholder farmers are dedicated their lives to producing food for the world, but without financial support to adopt new tools and approaches, most of them can hardly make ends meet on their lands. Now with information such as farming, crop growth and transactional records being digitalised and shared, AI can be harnessed to build individual credit risk scoring system for farmers. In China, XAG has established strategic cooperation with some of the biggest national financial institutions to offer farmers, even those without credit card or collateral, convenient, equal access to loans and claims. Based on their accumulated digital credits earned from Alipay mobile payment, farmers and service providers can even rent the P Series drone without any deposit. This is making new technologies available to a broader group of smallholders, while helping them obtain necessary resources to improve productivity and generate decent incomes. AI is making an impact on agriculture, despite the legal and ethical challenges associated with its adoption. As Justin Gong said, there are huge opportunities for the world, especially the developing countries, to adopt flexible, nimble technologies such as AI and drones to grow food more sustainably.
2019-06-06 00:20