Tech tidbits: Farming with a drone, and online betting

Farmers can now get a birds-eye view of their fields in full HD, and why consumers are more likely to participate in online betting
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Thu, Sep 12 2013. 01 22 AM IST
The drone flies over the field documenting the field’s status—down to centimetres. The portrait gives farmers details on the current health of their crops.
The drone flies over the field documenting the field’s status—down to centimetres. The portrait gives farmers details on the current health of their crops.
Farming with a drone
Farmers can now get a birds-eye view of their fields in full HD (high-definition), thanks to Michigan State University landing its first drone. Researchers at the university are using its first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, also known as a drone) to help farmers maximize yields by improving nitrogen and water management and reducing environmental impact, according to a 10 September statement.
For this initiative, the UAV measures how crops react to stress, such as drought, nutrients deficiency or pests. The UAV has three sensors: a high-resolution radiometer; a thermal camera, used to monitor plant temperature and hydration; and a laser scanner, which measures individual plant height in centimetres. Unlike planes, the drone can fly at low altitudes (less than 100ft) and in most weather conditions as long it is not very windy, covers a pre-programmed pattern on autopilot and provides more accurate data in a cost-effective manner.
The drone flies over the field documenting the field’s status—down to centimetres. The portrait gives farmers details on the current health of their crops. Armed with this knowledge, farmers can quickly pinpoint problem areas and address them with a precise rifle, as opposed to, a shotgun approach, said Bruno Basso, MSU ecosystem scientist.
“When you have a cut and need disinfectant, you don’t dive into a pool of medicine; you apply it only where you need it and in the quantity that is strictly necessary,” said Bruno, who is also a professor at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station. “Rather than covering the entire field with fertilizer, it can be applied exactly where it’s needed. We basically try to do the right thing, at the right place, at the right time”.
If you call it gaming, users will gamble
Consumers are more likely to participate in online betting if it’s called gaming rather than gambling, according to a new study in the ‘Journal of Consumer Research’.
“Changing an industry label from gambling to gaming affects what consumers, especially non-users, think of betting online,” wrote authors Ashlee Humphreys (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) and Kathryn A. LaTour (Cornell University). “A label like gaming prompts all sorts of implicit associations like entertainment and fun, while a label like gambling can prompt seedier implicit associations like crime,” the authors said in a 10 September statement.
The authors analysed newspapers such as ‘The New York Times’ and ‘The Wall Street Journal’ for the language used to describe online betting. They analysed coverage of Black Friday, 15 April 2011, when the US government shut down the three largest online betting sites. Newspapers shifted the way they described the online activity, framing it more as a crime, which led to a shift in consumer judgments about the legitimacy of online casinos, especially among non-users.
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Thu, Sep 12 2013. 01 22 AM IST
More Topics: Tech tidbits | Farming | drone | online betting |