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Thread: Precision Agricultural Weed Maintenance

  1. #1
    Navigator Hiway's Avatar
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    Precision Agricultural Weed Maintenance

    Positive is such a subjective term when used in a general manner- and with the debates and politics surrounding the food industry (I have plenty but will keep them out of the topic) I stumbled onto an area of drone use via my hobby this past summer and now am in the midst of developing a larger scale project- but not for profit as of yet- too many regs and rules and bureaucracy to wade through to know of it's viability.

    I did a lazy and quick search in this forum and didn't see anything but I know for certain what I am doing is not original or new- others are far more advanced and I am looking for them to seek more education- so if you are in the Precision Ag portion of drone use- please speak up or shoot me a message- I am a very respectful and interested person.

    A local man who is a friend of a friend operates a spraying company for the entire valley hereabouts and had bought a DJI 550 hex some time back for his business- but he got in too early and the craft is not autonomous and really is a toy compared to what he sees my large AP pixhawk hex can do with telemetry and the android app

    He approached me and asked about the ability to survey fields or sections in real time so he could pinpoint specific areas for weed control applications- I instantly handed him my pack a long monitor and fired up the vtx on the hex and donned my goggles and set up a polygon on a portion of the field we met- put the hex at 50 feet and set it on it's mission.

    Now we all know how cool and simple that is- but he was floored and I am now building a decent X8 for him with the same setup of a pixhawk and telemetry and fpv- he can arrive at a field- program his android to map the field or section, and then watch his monitor and direct his people to portions of the field.

    Actual cost savings in time and gas and other resources, or an inefficient use of them is yet to be determined... but, and you better know the pun is intended, I have high hopes.

    Looking for precision ag drone operators and tech folks... I love this stuff!
    dirty side down.....o~^o

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    Checkout aeronavics, they had a drone set up with spay booms at an agriculture field day I went too, I will try and find the picture I took for you.

  3. #3
    Navigator Hiway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmernz View Post
    Checkout aeronavics, they had a drone set up with spay booms at an agriculture field day I went too, I will try and find the picture I took for you.
    +1

    (although they seem to be advertising some pretty extreme flight times for the craft they display- not sure how they get 40 minute flights out of a 14in propped quad with 5kg of weight)
    Last edited by Hiway; 3rd December 2014 at 02:56 PM.
    dirty side down.....o~^o

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    Navigator Chile Vuela's Avatar
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    I'm very much interested in the precision agriculture side of multirotor craft. So much so that I set up a laboratory at my university to focus on such things. We just completed our first surveying mission on Monday, using a low cost quad and 2 used canon A2200 cameras purchased from ebay. One of the cameras is setup to capture NGB images (Near-Infrared images) for later conversion to NDVI, and the other is straight visual. We're still sorting out the technology and seeing what the limitations of the approach we are using, but there's many interesting applications. My university is located in the heart of the agricultural region in Chile, so it's a good match.

    At the moment, the quad I'm using is a Tarot 650 frame built out with hobbyking motors and 16" props. It's around 2kg fully loaded and will fly for 30 minutes on 2 5200mAh 4s batteries.
    -Matt: destroyer of gimbals, wrecker of frames.

    My YT Channel --> youtube.com/user/mdbardeen
    Blog --> fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?38190-Vuela-Chile-Vuela!-The-ramblings-of-an-American-in-Chile

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    Navigator Hiway's Avatar
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    So what size are those motors farmernz?
    I like the form factor of that craft- very purpose built and it looks quite sturdy.

    I am curious- why the downward facing props? Obviously there are reasons for design elements- or not, but since this is being used in real world applications I am paying very close attention- right now I am pure theory mixed with various anecdotal readings online. I never would have known about drone use in ag if not for the man who approached me- which makes me feel ignorant.
    dirty side down.....o~^o

  7. #7
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    My hex is a Tarot 680 Ironman- but I never viewed it as anything but a toy. I doesn't "feel" like it is a proper field tool and is far too flimsy for practical use in this application I suspect- especially after viewing those offerings up there from NZ
    dirty side down.....o~^o

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    sorry i have no idea of arm size- but going by the chair beside it i would guess each boom 500mm?. i took the pics of their setups and after alot of 'google' learnt about the world of multirotor my self. from memory they wanted about $54000nz for it all setup with groundstations built into a case etc- it all looked pretty rugged, but very expensive. After i blew up a pic and googled "naza" my world has been consumed ever since! next time i see there gear i will take a whole lot more notice of the design setups. i think the spare parts on there website give some indication of setups the use, and they sell frames etc so you can build instead of buying complete setups.

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    this might give some size perspective

  10. #10
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    Dennis Baldwin has a youtube channel and I have been hypnotized by what he is doing with the pixhawk.

    Here is a a sample and he does a great job of explaining how he uses software for once the images are compiled:
    dirty side down.....o~^o

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