Chainsaw-packing drone helps Hawaii Island botanists battle ROD
Innovating botanists in Hawaii are again adapting tech loaded on drones to preserve native plants from extinction in areas too remote or dangerous for humans to access – this time on Hawaii Island to battle Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) fungus killing indigenous ʻōhiʻa lehua trees.
The new drone hack is the work of Ryan Perroy, a professor at the University of Hawaii, Hilo’s department of Geography & Environmental Science, and director of its Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization program. A tireless DIY geek, Perroy found a way to super-size an existing UAV-carried device for cutting and collecting plant samples in hard to reach places with a twist Tobe Hooper would love – using a dangling chainsaw with a gripping robotic claw.
Read: Drones lead Hawaii’s coconut rhinoceros beetle battle
Unlike the original tool developed by researchers at the Swiss public research university ETH Zürich, Perroy’s larger adaptation can saw off and…