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Yamaha Motor to launch spraying drone YMR-01

Yamaha Motor plans to enter the market for multirotor drones in 2018 with a design built for lightweight and with a downdraft said to enhance its performance as a crop-spraying tool.

The Yamaha YMR-01 shown at Japan’s Next Generation Agriculture Expo in Tokyo has 6 rotor positions, but at the middle position on both sides are 2 sets of contra-rotating blades.

Together with the placement of spraying nozzles informed by Yamaha’s aerodynamics experience with remotely-piloted small-scale helicopters, this arrangement is said to produce ideal downward air currents to propel spray droplets into the crop.

Flexible landing legs are designed to minimise impact upon touchdown and a monocoque shell structure made from carbon fibre forms a body said to be light, but strong.

Yamaha YMR-01 agri drone 01
A conventional 6-rotor drone produces unbalanced downward air currents that can disrupt the spray pattern, says Yamaha, so it came up with an 8-rotor design with 2 sets of contra-rotating blades in the centre position on each side.

This houses the power source, control electronics and guidance equipment, with twin air intakes effectively cooling the electrical system.

The YMR-01 drone

Yamaha says the drone will have sufficient capacity to spray 1ha (2.47 acres) a flight and has formed an alliance with Kioritz spraying equipment manufacturer Yamabiko Corporation for the supply of application systems.

Yamaha YMR-01 agri drone 02
Yamaha’s first multirotor drone is due to go on sales in 2018 as a crop scouting and spraying platform.

In turn, the YMR-01 will be available through Yamabiko sales channels as well as Yamaha Motor distributors.

Product summary

  • Company: Yamaha Motor
  • Name: Yamaha YMR-01
  • Type: Multirotor spraying drone
  • Key feature: Co-axial rotors at the central rotor position on each side to create balanced downdraft for spraying; capacity to spray 1ha (2.47 acres) a fill