Duluth, Ga.-based AGCO Corp., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has introduced the SOLO AGCO Edition unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The UAV, built on 3D Robotics' Solo platform, implements intuitive mission planning and cloud-based, high-resolution mapping software to increase farming efficiency.
The UAV can fly in up to 25 mph winds and reach a maximum speed of 55 mph. Each fully charged, smart battery is capable of covering up to 60 acres, depending on conditions and user-defined settings, with an average flight time of 20 minutes when the aircraft is fully equipped. The UAV’s kit comes with four batteries, providing the ability to scout up to 240 acres in one trip.
The aircraft uses a three-axis Solo gimbal, accessory bay and swappable motor pods – allowing for easy integration of future technology and features. It also allows fully autonomous flights; provides auto takeoff and landing; and includes an emergency in-air brake, return-to-home features, in-app training and configurable settings in order to accommodate varying operator skill levels.
The kit also includes two cameras, customized for aerial imaging – an RGB camera for color imaging and a near-infrared camera for monitoring photosynthetic activity (plant health). These cameras, paired with the included one year of Agribotix imaging software, produce high-resolution orthomosaics, a normalized difference vegetation index, and field health and management zone maps to provide farmers insight into their fields and help them find potential yield-limiting problems early.
“The SOLO AGCO Edition is our field mapping solution for the everyday farmer,” says 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.”
Image processing history, maintained in the cloud, allows for comprehensive field condition comparison – making it easier to have precise placement of fertilization and irrigation for improved yields. Live flight data – including the battery life, altitude and distance from home – are streamed to the operator’s controller for real-time flight control.
Customers will be able to see the new UAV at the Farm Progress Show, held Sept. 1-3 in Decatur, Ill. The aircraft is available exclusively to customers in the U.S. through AGCO Parts and North American AGCO Parts dealers.