Drones are Bringing the Internet to Rural Farmers in Sicily

Drones are Bringing the Internet to Rural Farmers in Sicily

Agricultural drones could help predict crop patterns

Macala Wright
  • 25 january 2016

Italian-based Catanese R&D startup Heli-Lab has launched a drone project that features the use of drones to bring the Internet to areas in Sicily where there is no connection. The remote-controlled drones are employed for a wide range of activities, namely for agricultural, industrial and insurance purposes.

The tasks delegated to the drones are different and increase with the ability to equip the APR-specific technology. On the side, the drones are also transformed into real PCs and hot spots, thus collecting a large amount of data in flight and transferring them to the cloud, as well as serving as Internet Access Points.

Giuseppe Spallina, co-founder of Heli-Lab said,

“Since the drone is offline the network can also become a hot spot, or a router that allows those who come to earth to exploit the band. A useful way to not leave completely isolated areas affected by natural disasters and that can also be used by rescue workers of the first hour and by the Civil Defence.”

As I’ve previously written, the use of drones for agriculture and humanitarian efforts, drones used in this capacity further enable better food and manufacturing processes to develop. From the data gathered from drones, farmers can now start to understand and leverage that information in order to produce food more efficiently. According to the company, in agriculture, the use of Helio drones offers many benefits in the assessment of the health status of crops, including:

  • precision measurement of agriculture with cameras and infrared multispectral;
  • study and monitoring of the state of force of biomass, forest and agricultural;
  • analysis, forecasting, prevention and monitoring of the harvest;
  • treatments with pesticides and fungicides shedding DRONI high payload

The cumulative data gathered and provided by drones can then be built into softwares that visualize patterns and trends in the soil; which ultimately helps farmers understand what is happening beneath the ground so they can compensate for any deficiencies their crops have. Being able to store that data in the cloud allows them to model patterns past and present over a region or an entire area and make future predictions on crop cycles.

The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates farmers’ return-on-investment alone could be $12 per acre for corn and $2 to $3 per acre for soybeans and wheat for the efficiencies that drones provide. The Helio-Lab drone helps Italian farmers achieve what the AFAB predicts stateside. The Internet installed on the Helio drone could allow farmers to connect with one another, assisting in the sharing of ag data and information.


In the future, these devices could possibly even create agribusiness troubleshooting communities based on simple access points built within the vary machines they’re using. Wouldn’t it be great to share information and get knowledge from fellow farmers? What’s more, given its current funding model, this could also enable Helio-Lab to achieve a more cost-effective agridrone data solution than what’s currently on the U.S. market from Agribotix at $11,900 per year for use. While you may have crop efficiencies and increase your profit, a price tag like that may limit access to many farmers who rely on subsidies worldwide just keep the lights on.



Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile Yesterday

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture Yesterday

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Design Yesterday

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion Yesterday

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times


Anu Acharya

Genetics, Personalized Medicine, Preventative Care

Syndicated Yesterday

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability Yesterday

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 25, 2016

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising Yesterday

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising Yesterday

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Design Yesterday

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia Yesterday

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising Yesterday

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.