If their drone project works high school students at Career Technology Center in Frederick MD could save the US farming industry billions of dollars.
FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- Drones, they protect the United States, are used to photograph extreme sports, now movie directors are using them too.
If a high school drone project gets off the ground like the one students at the Career Technology Center in Frederick are planning, they'll be saving the U.S. farming industry billions of dollars, too.
The students designed three drones to help farmers get rid of a worm-like pest called the European Corn Borer. It's decimating crops and there's only a 10 day window when the pesticide will work.
One of the student drones flies over the corn field and when it lands it can inspect individual cornstalks.
Eleventh-grader Nathan Eschbach says it eliminates the need for workers to check every plant for the larvae.
"The arms move down, in, they drag the crop up and examine the bottom side then they move back down spread out and move back up as to not damage the crop," Eschbach said.
Next their crop dusting drone moves in to spray the right section of cornfield at the right time, saving time and lost of money.
The project is part of a contest called the Real World Design Challenge. The CTC team won for the state of Maryland and they'll got to nationals in D.C. in November.
CAD Engineering teacher Phil Arnold, says if this plan works, this could be game changer for farmers nationwide, saving billions of dollars in lost crops.
"A 5 percent damage is about 5 to 7 billion dollars just for the state of Iowa."
And with more than 80 million acres of corn nationwide the savings would be staggering. So would their career prospects.