Olivair, Drone for Olive Harvesting
Olive harvesting with current machinery presents several challenges. The most competitive tool, a mechanical shaker mounted on a tractor, has limitations such as the inability to work on steep terrain (which makes up 35 percent of the world’s olive groves), slow operations (taking five minutes per tree), and damage to trees and the environment due to vibration and fuel consumption.
To solve these problems, the idea of using a 2.5-meter agricultural drone was born. This drone generates a strong wind to cause olives to fall when they are perfectly ripe. Simply flying over the trees allows harvesting in any area, three times faster than conventional methods, without coming into direct contact with the trees and respecting the environment by using batteries instead of fuel.
Diana Zagarella is finishing her master’s degree in aeronautical engineering with a thesis based on the technical aspect of the Olivair start-up. She worked for a couple of years in her family’s oil company and in this context got to know the area of interest from which the Olivair drone project was born. She also gained several years of experience in theater and voice acting as a professional actress.