The Forest Mycology and Pathology Lab at UC Berkeley has developed a new method for sampling forest canopies. The Sampler Drone is a modified DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter that is lightweight, compact, and exceptionally agile.
The Sampler Drone uses GPS positioning and gyroscopic axis stabilization to provide a stable aerial platform for collection of environmental samples. It is capable of hovering close to any portion of the canopy, taking samples, and returning them safely to the ground.
The forward-facing carbon fiber boom can be outfitted with a variety of modules for leaf, water, or air sampling and with a altitude ceiling of 400m, the drone is able to access trees of any height. The integrated HD camera, when combined with FPV headset goggles, allows the operator to pilot the quadcopter remotely from a first person view, in real time.