Drones Are Packing Their Bags and Leaving the City for Farms
Farmers have now adopted drones' customized technology to help them plant, maintain and grow their crops at accelerated rates
In a not-so-obvious move to agriculture, DJI drones have left their urban delivery and videography origins to help farmers plant seeds and crop dust. Though aircrafts have traditionally filled the role of farming assistants, the programmable DJI MG-1 is both agile and autonomous, capable of covering acres of farmland in pesticides in a single hour.
At only 12 minutes of total flight time with 2.6 gallon tanks (as compared to the hundreds of gallons and lengthy flight times of conventional crop-dusting planes), the DJI MG-1 still has major improvements to undergo to reach widespread commercial adoption.
Water, dust, and corrosion-resistant, the MG-1 is an eight-rotor drone that can carry a payload of up to 22 lbs (10 kg) across seven to 10 acre stretches. Equipped with downward-facing nozzles that spray chemicals through a pressurized system, an even spray is facilitated by a wave radar that pre-determines the altitude of the drone down to the centimeter.
Spray speeds can also be adjusted to accommodate for certain chemicals.
Arguably the current gen MG drone offers the most value in mountainous farming regions where the distribution of elevation is far greater than flatlands, making crop-dusting a generally more complicated affair. With the ability to switch between fully automated, semi-automated and manually controlled settings, the nimble and versatile drone can cover pieces of land generally untouched by the standard helicopter drones in peaky terrains.
The MG-1 has been available for pre-order in China for $15,000 USD as of November, with the possibility of reserving your own farming drone in South Korea and other markets soon to come.