Agri.Builders was initially launched in October 2017 as a student project at Centrale Lyon engineering school, France, and eventually turned into an independent association in 2018.
Our team is currently composed of three second-year students.
Our goal is to foster the future of farming technologies by facilitating the development or innovative systems, especially using drones. Our projects are based on a strong communication with local farmers who often have ideas to improve their processes, but no resources or facilities to achieve them.
We use the principles of Design thinking and Effectuation to improve our efficiency and make sure that our achievements are conforming to what farmers and other clients would expect. We are conversant with most prototyping technologies, for instance 3D CAD and printing, laser engraving/cutting and electronics.
Our first innovation project is called Pherodrone.
There is an alternative solution to conventional insecticides when you need to protect trees from specific parasites. It uses pheromones to impair a specific insect species and prevent from breeding, instead of mass killing most insects with a chemical.
Technically, it consists of biodegradable capsules or smooth rings coated with pheromones, that ensure protection on a whole tree for six months and eventually collapse.
The Pherodrone system allows to drop Ginko rings onto the top of trees using a drone. For the first time, it provides a fast and affordable way to use the pheromone method on a large scale without the need of ladders, poles or any other conventional, laborious methods usually employed by farmers.
Pherodrone is mostly dedicated to tackle the codling moth on walnut, chestnut and apple groves, but it can obviously be adapted to address other parasites as long as dedicated pheromone rings are available on the market.
We propose a delivery to farmers, coming with an accredited pilot and a Matrice 200 drone equipped with the Pherodrone add-on. With a payload of 2 kg (4.4 lbs), this drone allows to carry more than 50 rings, thus treating 100 trees within two flights (less than an hour).
Our goal is also to provide support to farmers who wish to buy their own drone and add-on, so that they can use our device independently on their plots.