Volocopter, the German specialist aviation company which is developing an autonomous drone based air taxi service has showcased its first heavy duty drone for agricultural purpose, the VoloDrone at the global agricultural technology show – AGRITECHNICA, being held at Hannover from 10 to 16 Nob 2019.
This VoloDrone has been developed with John Deere, a leading agricultural technology company. Volocopter tied up with John Deere to absorb their expertise in farmer needs for developing the VoloDrone. The VoloDrone aims at improving efficiencies in agriculture using its capabilities ranging from difficult topography to increased efficiency in the use of crop protection agents, sowing seeds or frost control. Demonstration of the prototype at the AGRITECHNICA is the first step towards offering the innovative technology on a commercial basis.
The VoloDrone can be operated either by remote control or in autonomous pre-programmed manner. It has a frame equipped with a flexible standardized payload attachment system which can be used to mount various agricultural devices on the drone. For crop protection role, the VoloDrone is equipped with two tanks, a pump and a spray bar. It has a low flight altitude and hence it can cover large areas effectively. It is easily capable of covering up to 6 hectares/ hour. It is a sustainable, precise, and cost-effective alternative to helicopters used for the same purpose.
The VoloDrone has a diameter of 9.2 m and has a fully electric drive with and easily replaceable Li-ion battery pack. The aircraft has 18 rotors attached around the circular frame. The VoloDrone is capable of flying for 30 minutes with a fully charged set of batteries.