As regulations surrounding unmanned aerial vehicles are loosened and they become more common on North American farms, one of the world’s largest agricultural machinery manufacturers has announced it’s entering the UAV market.
Built on the 3D Robotics Solo platform, AGCO introduced the SOLO AGCO Edition UAV this week.
“We thought through everything a farmer needs to not only scout their fields, but also collect useful data beneficial to managing their farm and improving yields and efficiency,” said Jeff Punter, manager of purchasing for AGCO Parts, in a company news release.
The unit, which has a top speed of 55 mph, comes with hardware, software, service and support. Each battery is capable of covering up to 60 acres, depending on conditions, with an average flight time of 20 minutes (read the spec sheet here).
The kit also includes two cameras — an RGB camera for color imaging and a near-infrared camera for monitoring photosynthetic activity. These cameras, paired with Agribotix imaging software that’s included, can produce high-resolution Orthomosaics, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and Field Health and Management Zone maps.
“The SOLO AGCO Edition is our field mapping solution for the everyday farmer,” said Darren Parker, director of sales and marketing for AGCO Parts. “You do not need to be tech savvy to operate this UAV, you just need to be able to press launch.”
AGCO will have the UAV on display at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois in early September.
3D Robotics bills itself as “North America’s largest manufacturer of consumer drones.” The personal version of the Solo UAV is available at retail outlets such as Best Buy and London Drugs.