DJI, November 09, 2019 - DJI, the global leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, and a team of entomologists in the field of malaria elimination are working together to develop a revolutionary technique to fight the disease.
By combining the research team’s expertise and DJI’s drone technology, a new way to fight the potentially deadly disease has been created. For the first time, there is a real chance to make a breakthrough in malaria elimination with the help of spray drones.
DJI joined a team of entomologists in Zanzibar to conduct a pilot project using a modified DJI MG1-S Agras drone which sprayed mosquito-infested rice fields with a unique non-toxic and biodegradable silicone-based liquid (Aquatain AMF). The liquid was spread across stagnant water to create a very thin film that prevents pupae and larvae from breathing at the surface, causing them to drown and die.
“We are proud to be pioneers in this field along with scientific experts using our spray drones against malaria in Africa, and we have great hopes that this approach will significantly contribute towards defeating this fatal disease in affected regions around the world,” said Dr. Barbara Stelzner, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communication at DJI Europe. “Reducing the cases of new malaria infections will not only put an end to all the suffering of people, but it will also contribute to generate larger harvests, and provide new economical perspectives in Africa.”
By flying drones that spray biological insecticides in rice fields, the team of experts aims to demonstrate that the mosquito population can be significantly reduced. They will sample the larvae and emerging mosquito population before, during and after spraying to determine the possible impact of this approach in large rice irrigation systems that are found throughout Africa.
“This experience has been made possible thanks to a customized DJI Agras MG1-S spray drone, enabling the deployment of the Aquatain liquid over rice paddies,” said Dr. Bart Knols, the scientist behind the project, who dedicates his life to researching and fighting malaria. “The use of spray drones proves to be essential in efficiently treating large rice fields, because spraying by hand is very time consuming and using a helicopter is too expensive and simply not realistic.”
After the trial, the scientific team intends to publish the findings in a scientific journal and communicate further on the results.
“This pilot project is the first attempt to fight malaria with spray drones on such a large scale. If the results of these tests are as good as expected, this could give a tremendous boost for winning the fight against malaria,” said Professor Wolfgang Richard Mukabana from the University of Nairobi. The elimination of malaria in Zanzibar is the public health priority of the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program (ZAMEP), which welcomed this innovative spray drone technology as a promising tool to eradicate the disease.
Thanks to the support of Tanzania Flying Labs, a local robotics organization and its branch located at the State University of Zanzibar, the project will contribute toward economic development by empowering local and regional drone pilots through flight training, data acquisition and business planning.
About DJI: DJI is a dominant market leader in the civilian drone industry accounting for over 70 percent of the world's drone market. Headquartered in Shenzhen, widely considered China’s Silicon Valley, DJI benefits from direct access to the suppliers, raw materials, and young, creative talent pool necessary for sustained success. Drawing on these resources, we have grown from a single small office in 2006 to a global workforce. Our offices can now be found in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
As a privately owned and operated company, DJI focuses on our own vision, supporting creative, commercial, and nonprofit applications of our technology. Today, DJI products are redefining industries. Professionals in filmmaking, agriculture, conservation, search and rescue, energy infrastructure, and more trust DJI to bring new perspectives to their work and help them accomplish feats safer, faster, and with greater efficiency than ever before.
Established to produce DJI’s innovative products safely and responsibly, our wholly owned subsidiary Shenzhen Dajiang Baiwang Technology Co., Ltd. is a high-tech manufacturing facility specializing in unmanned aerial vehicles. In 2016, Dajiang Baiwang passed the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Certification and in 2017 passed the SGS ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Certification.