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.
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’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.
- 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