theletterJ

Drone delivery for roof top moss control... if it possible?

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Hey everybody. I have an idea that I'm just trying to get some feedback on and consult the experts here on UAV applications. Im in the cleaning and restoration business and a common challenge we face all the time is applying powdered zinc to the ridge lines on roofs for moss control. Most of the time, its not a big deal to get a guy up on the roof with a ladder and get it done but there is a significant number of houses were the pitch/steepness of the roof makes it a huge safety hazard to send our guys up to apply it manually. 

   My question to you all is whether it would be possible to accomplish this with a drone. Beyond that, does anyone know of a container that could hold a payload of zinc powder and be triggered to be opened remotely for distribution once the drone is over the ridge line of the roof? 

 

Thanks in advance for your input.  

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Interesting application! I don't believe there's anything you could purchase ready-to-fly, but this is not an impossible request by any means. This article comes to mind: http://thoughtcatalog.com/michael-koh/2015/06/you-can-now-buy-your-own-spray-painting-drone-courtesy-of-katsu/

And this video:

 

What are the specs of your existing zinc powder spray system?

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Thank you for the reply! As far as the current specs all of our applications it is 100% manual. We send a technician Up on the Roof via an extension ladder as long as pitch is easy enough for them to get to the Ridgeline they climb on up there with a can of zinc granules or a bag of powdered zinc and apply it to the manually. We also have a application in a liquid form we generally will mix this in a backpack pump up sprayer to apply but again manually from the roof Top surface.

Very excited about exploring this possibility. There are quite a few costumers who would be willing to pay a premium for the service since no one else has figured out a better, safer, faster way and many contractors are turning down Steep roofs all together.

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@theletterJ This is a very interesting application but would the powder and spray mixture be considered hazardous material ?. If so the FAA small aircraft rule part 107 clearly states "no carriage of hazardous material" and I imagine it might be difficult to obtain a waiver. 

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@theletterJ thats good. When do you use the powder vs the spray ?. My concern with the powder is that the down draft of the props will disperse it away from its intended target area and possibly get into the motors.

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Yes this something I hadn't thought of either until now! Having no actual flight time with or around a UAV I dont exactly know how much air we're talking about moving under the rotors of a muti-prop drone. I can tell you that the granular formula of the treament is designed to be just heavy enough to resist wind from blowing it off the roof peak. The powdered Zinc is much more prone to getting blown around during the initial application but once it hits the roof, it sticks really well. 

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On 10/11/2016 at 11:37 AM, theletterJ said:

Yes this something I hadn't thought of either until now! Having no actual flight time with or around a UAV I dont exactly know how much air we're talking about moving under the rotors of a muti-prop drone. I can tell you that the granular formula of the treament is designed to be just heavy enough to resist wind from blowing it off the roof peak. The powdered Zinc is much more prone to getting blown around during the initial application but once it hits the roof, it sticks really well. 

I see from a previous post that there are 3 forms of zinc - granules, powder and spray. Would you need a dispenser for each type of can just one form be used to treat the moss ?

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Great question. For moss, it's a pick one situation. I think I mentioned before that there are pros and cons to each. the powder is more cost effective and sticks really well to the shingle material but is more susceptible to being blown around until itakes contact. The grannuals will roll down a steep pitch but are easier to apply with out being blown off course when dispensing.

There is another type of roof treatment for the black discoloration from algae that is liquid only but typically, this can be applied with a garden hose adapter and ladder from a safe distance away from the roof top

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Hoe-lee-crap.... That is almost exactly what I was envisioning except there needs to be a way to trigger the flow for the drone with maybe a secondary wireless device that is controlled via Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

   My other thought:

-is there is such a thing as a drone that comes with an accessory attachment that offers something like "tilt control" for a camera mount or platform that could be modified for this?

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@theletterJ I am not aware of anything available off the shelf but I believe a custom build is possible. A servo could be used to operate a valve in the dispenser and simply controlled from one of the channels on the operators transmitter. An issue to resolve is to keep the drone at a precise height from a sloping roof. I believe that this could be accomplished using a Lidar sensor and I am looking into adding one of these to my latest hex build project.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/prod557294.html

Edited by Spitfire76

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On 10/8/2016 at 6:00 PM, theletterJ said:

Hey everybody. I have an idea that I'm just trying to get some feedback on and consult the experts here on UAV applications. Im in the cleaning and restoration business and a common challenge we face all the time is applying powdered zinc to the ridge lines on roofs for moss control. Most of the time, its not a big deal to get a guy up on the roof with a ladder and get it done but there is a significant number of houses were the pitch/steepness of the roof makes it a huge safety hazard to send our guys up to apply it manually. 

   My question to you all is whether it would be possible to accomplish this with a drone. Beyond that, does anyone know of a container that could hold a payload of zinc powder and be triggered to be opened remotely for distribution once the drone is over the ridge line of the roof? 

 

Thanks in advance for your input.  

Hi, our company, CFR-Innovations, offer a ready to fly system and we are specialised on producing spreader optimized for drones. We are supporting the customer until he is fully operational. Contact sales@cfr-innovations.com for more information.

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