The Sericultural Science Research Institute of the Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences of China, supported by the National Silkworm and Mulberry Industrial Technology System Sericultural Silkworm Breeding Technology Duties Scientist Project, has successfully developed a silkworm production machinery system, including a drone for silkworm transportation, an efficient yarn reeling machine, and a silkworm egg cleaning and sorting machine.
Cocoon spinning and silkworm transfer are important processes in sericulture and are also high-intensity labor processes. In recent years, due to a shortage of young workers, some farmers have been unable to perform these high-intensity tasks, and some have given up the work, even though they understand that it is a job that will increase their income. During the silkworm free-ranging, sericultural farmers frequently had to climb up and down the mountains in the breeding grounds carrying cages weighing more than 25 kg with silkworms on their backs. Threading cocoons and rotating silkworm breeding trees also require a lot of manpower and supplies, but farming villages are facing the problems of aging and lack of manpower. Even though the scale of the industry is not small, traditional work methods were still being followed.
Faced with the problems in the development of the industry, the institute, together with companies and institutions such as Shenyang Jinfengchun Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd. has been developing and manufacturing lightweight, simple, and highly efficient sericultural production machinery systems, including silkworm moving by drone since 2016. Among the systems developed by the institute, the drone-based silkworm moving and transporting equipment has a work efficiency about seven times higher than that of human moving. The organic combination of the drone itself and the unit that carries the load eliminated the need for sericultural farmers to climb up and down mountains, and the drone succeeded in “moving silkworms around the mountains” on behalf of the farmers.
The drone has made it possible to move silkworms in just a few minutes, instead of the tens of minutes to hours it used to take to move each silkworm. When tested over a 260-meter straight line, each transport took only 4.6 minutes and could move approximately 300 kilograms of silkworms per hour, making it 6.68 times more efficient than human transport.