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The unmanned technology revolution, and how the island is catching up!

Posted: Thursday 5 August 2021

Digital Jersey has started investigating the use of unmanned vehicles in the Island, with the impact of robots being assessed across several different sectors, including Tourism and Agriculture.

In Agriculture, the Jersey Royal Company has been working with Digital Jersey to understand how the use of drones can improve efficiency and quality of the Jersey Royal crop each year.

The reality of farming in Jersey, with its high costs, and restricted scale, alongside the pressure of achieving the best possible crop at the earliest point in the spring calendar means that utilising the very latest technology can play a crucial role in making important gains.

Initially capturing a field by taking over 400 photos using a high-quality drone camera, it is possible to create an orthomosaic map (also known as an interactive drone map), giving birds-eye visibility to the agronomists and access to information that simply could not be accessed from the ground. Then, using algorithms, it is possible to identify topography & plant health, showing where it might be necessary to remedy key issues such as irrigation and disease.

Digital Jersey is also looking to help with utilisation of multispectral photography to help the Jersey Royal Company learn more about the different fields and soils around the Island. The varying colour bands which can be captured by a multispectral camera, enable algorithms to assess the various soil nutrition levels and thus allow intervention such as precision fertilisation, preventing wastage and creating a more sustainable model.

From a tourism perspective, Digital Jersey has been capturing imagery of some of our iconic heritage sites to explore the potential for improved visitor experience (for both on and off-Island), whilst combining weather drone footage can allow for more efficient planning for surveying and maintenance.

As you can see in the image below, La Hougue Bie has been captured, with the finest of detail of the entrance to the Tomb and the Chapel on the mound.  Digital Jersey will be working with Jersey Heritage over the coming months to enhance this process, enabling more intelligent maintenance on these important historic sites.

Digital Jersey is looking to take this technology to the next stage by combining aerial imagery with IOT sensors on the ground, which, when combined with the Jersey Digital Twin, will create a variety of tools for commercial companies and Government to utilise.

So next time you are visiting a Heritage site or tucking into some Jersey Royals, remember the impact that unmanned technology can have and its potential for preserving some of Jersey’s iconic attributes for the future.

If you are interested in learning more about our unmanned vehicle strategy, please get in touch with us at or email Seb directly at Sebastian.lawson@digital.je

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