American Robotics, an industrial UAV developer specialising in agricultural automation, has presented its new flagship product called Scout. Scout is fully autonomous and that means it’s self-managing and self-charging.
UAV Scout is ‘parked’ in a closed weatherproof hub or station located in a field. The hub is part of a turn-key package, consisting of an autonomous UAV with visual and multispectral cameras.
The hub not only houses the UAV, it also takes care of charging, data processing and data transfer. After the installation of the hub, the system does not require any manual intervention whatsoever.
Flight planning, flying and data management and transfer are all performed automatically and autonomously. The system has already been deployed in a range of agricultural locations across the United States this summer.
American Robotics says the product is an alternative to first-generation and consumer UAVs, that are, according to the company, time-consuming, complicated, uneconomical, and inadequate at detecting plant stress early enough to offset the billions of dollars of lost yields.
American Robotics is headquartered in MassRobotics in Boston, a non-profit shared robotics innovation centre dedicated at robotics start-ups. Reese Mozer, Co-Founder and CEO of American Robotics: ‘Because so much time and cost is needed just to operate a UAV, growers and agronomists are unlikely to utilise it more than once a month, if at all. Therefore, full-automation is a key ingredient in the future of precision farming, and we’re eager and excited to finally deliver this capability to our customers.’
The company will be releasing Scout to a selection of farmers in 2018, with the expectation of full global availability by 2019. You can sign up for the the 2018 programme.