Farming as occupation and farmers are considered as the backbone of any country. The country’s economy starts with its farmer taking lead in setting up the conditions for other industries to take benefits from the products of farming. But working on a small farm isn’t profitable enough. You have to increase your farm to reach the market’s demand. Every crop requires care of their own kind. But each needs some common protections like fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides. It is feasible enough to spray a small area of land by a single person. When it comes to spraying a huge area of land, we seek for the help of technology. Our technology is getting better and better every day, providing their help in every area of human activities. Similar technological advancement can be seen in Drones. With their spying and surveillance abilities, their flying feature has provided farmers with the ease of covering large areas of land with a single flight of such drones typically known as Agricultural Drone or Agricultural Sprayer Drone.
Agricultural drone technology has been seeing a significant rise. The benefits of drones in agriculture are becoming more apparent to farmers. Drone applications in agriculture range from mapping and surveying the farm area to dusting and spraying. The Agricultural Drones are being made multipurpose giving multiple cutting-edge technologies to farmers. As seen from the overall surface, the Agricultural Drones are no different than other drones, but the technological advancements to fit the needs of farmers make it special.
Agricultural Drone Tech
Agricultural drone technology is superior technology in terms that they provide some features that are just suited for maintaining the health of crops and increasing their yield. Three of such technology are given below.
Precision Agriculture refers to the techniques and the ways that farmers use to improve the efficiency of inputs as water, fertilizer, to maximize productivity, quality and yield. Drones allow the farmers to continuously monitor the crops by quickly flying up in the air and covering the ground quickly and detecting any faults that would take significantly longer time for individuals to do on the ground level. A farmer can easily identify through the video and stills the areas that might not have been irrigated or sprayed properly.
One of the key feature Agricultural Drone is mapping and surveying. The process to map or survey crops is relatively straightforward. Many latest drones come equipped with flight planning software that allows the user to draw the area they need to cover. Then the software makes the automated flight plans. As the drone flies, it automatically takes pictures using the onboard camera and uses GPS to determine to configure the path and time to take shots.
The main reason drones are being used in agriculture is due to their ability to cover a larger area on a single charge carrying heavy tanks of fertilizers and pesticides to spray on the crops without any human intervention. The use of drone saves significant cost and time. It is also far more precise than traditional tractors. It also saves potential pesticide exposure to workers who needed to spray those crops manually.
Also Read: Top 10 Most Expensive Drones
Top Agricultural Sprayer Drones
Some of the top drones that are available in the market at present at an affordable price at offering all the great features are listed below.
The Honeycorp AgDrone introduced in 2017 is an airplane-shaped drone. It has wings that are composed of Kevlar fiber composite which is as strong as carbon fiber. It cannot be easily broken like carbon fiber either fall to pieces like foam. The use of Kevlar makes the drone durable, versatile and powerful. It is easily as tough as it is required to survive the devastating natural disasters.
This drone has the flight time of 55 minutes at full power which can easily extend up to 11 minutes of the reserve under very low wind scenario. It has dual camera setup giving you with two 20.2 MP image quality. It helps cover the fields with more detail and clarity.
The drone comes with each and every bit you would require to get to the nosiness right away. Its accessories include a charger, batteries, spare propellers, memory cards, and a mission planning tablet. It includes a software that with a click retrieves all the data from drone and transfers it to a cloud for processing.
DJI Matrice 100
It is one of the best quadcopters for agricultural use on the market. The dual battery components help flight time to be increased up to 40 minutes in full charge. It has many programming options that the person who has to look after the farm will love to have.
The standard features of DJI systems such as GPS, flight controller and DJI Lightbridge will help the pilots to navigate through the toughest of the task and the features help pilots focus more on the task than on the controls.
What users have liked best of the Matrice is that it is highly compatible, the expansion bay allows a user to customize the flight experience, and the guidance system helps novice pilots to fly and avoid collisions in the air. With the DJI matrice 100, you have the option to connect to the Oculus Rift. It is the biggest setup for the drone pilots and one of the coolest features is that the pilot can easily control gimbal direction by simply moving their head.
DJI T600 Inspire 1
It is another farm drone from DJI suitable for agricultural use. The frame is made up of carbon fiber which is the toughest in the industry yet light and durable. You get the capability of 4K video recording with separate flight and camera controls. The drone is foldable and is convenient when you are in hurry and just have no time for setup. You just twist the arms and it locks into place. Positioning the camera during flight is easy. It has retractable landing gear and when it takes off, the gear raises so the propellers are completely out of the way from the view of the lens.
As per the usability for the farm, the drone is also ranked higher in higher-end and higher-priced category that one person can control and another person can control the camera to prepare a solid plan for crop or livestock. The remote consists of dual control sticks, and then dual control dials that set exposure and provide directional tilt for the gimbal. For the advanced moves, the autopilot app gives the pilot ability to orbit and provides follow for tracking object. Control length is about an entire mile and there is an auto landing sequence that kicks in when the battery drops below 10%.
Also Read: DJI Drone DJI Mavic 2 Full Review
Agras MG-1 – DJI
For a renowned company like DJI, who is already miles ahead of other in consumer drone technology, introducing something for agriculture was a big step taken. Agras MG-1 is the biggest step from DJI, panting its feet in the Agricultural business as well.
The Agras is an octocopter meaning it has 8 propellers. Similar to the quadcopter, those propellers provide Agras to flying father distances, covering larger areas in significantly low time carrying the higher load. Agras is designed to spray large areas of farmland with fertilizers and pesticides. It can cover an extraordinary amount area in a matter of minutes. It can cover 4000-6000 m2 area in just 10 minutes, so just imagine the distance a full charge providing 40-60 minutes flight could cover.
Agras has been designed to control the way it sprays depending on the weather and its speed. Most of the other drones rely on the services like data mapping and aerial photography to spray the land while Agras MG-1relies on its robotic perfection combining all its data and onboard sensors to spray the pesticide, fertilizers or herbicides from the air.
Hercules 20 is an agricultural drone from Drone Volt, manufactured in France. Drone Vault has designed Hercules 20 for an accurate and constant spraying on various surfaces with the liquid fertilizers and pesticides. The flow of the spray is regulated with the high precision manually through Remote Controller or automatically through the application or flight controller. The drone though having the span of 33 inches, is all foldable and provides great compactness for the transport purpose.
The tank attached with the drone can hold up to 12 liters of liquid for spraying with the spraying width of 3 meters. With its maximum payload of 20kg, the flight time is decreased to 12 minutes but is enough in most circumstances with the huge spraying width and speed of the drone. The drone’s tank is interchangeable and easy to remove. In addition to the payload, the attachments are 3D lidar and camera gimbal. The frame is made up of carbon with anodized aluminum fasteners making the Hercules 20 ultra-shock-resistant.
Lancaster – Precision Hawk
US-based Precision Hawk’s Lancaster is an innovation in the drone industry. Looking similar to the RC plane, it is stable enough and packed with features you wouldn’t expect in any drones. Equipped with AI technology, it reacts quickly to the weather conditions and real-time diagnostics, and it can be equipped with other imaging sensors, all available upon need.
The drone has onboard sensors like Humidity, Temperature, Pressure and an incident light. The brain behind the drone is a 720MHz dual-core Linux CPU and interfaces through IIC, analog, Digital, WiFi, Ethernet, and USB. It has a wingspan of 5foot and weighs only 5.3lbs.
New sensors are being constantly developed and integrated on to the drone, thanks to its Open Sourced platform. Developers can easily attach the sensors of their desire with just a few changes to the software. This drone is very helpful in planning with aerial footage and mapping of agricultural fields.
Drone is a growing industry on its own and its usage in the Agricultural field has its own advantages. In recent years, the Agricultural Drone market has seen a significant rise in sales and usages, providing a helping hand to all those who provide their precious help in growing the economy of the country.
There are just more than this to come in the drone world, with its unlimited possibilities, it’s a blessing to mankind. But there’s a catch to that as well. The manufacturers need to check on the sales of the drone providing an assurance that the drones are being used for the purpose they have been intended to use. Apart from that, it is a very innovative and useful piece of technology.