The agricultural machinery division of Zoomlion, a leading Chinese heavy engineering manufacturer, has introduced a pair of multi rotor UAVs for crop spraying and vegetation control.
The 4-rotor Z-LION-20 and 8-rotor Z-LION-18 (which has a rotor at the end and half way along each of the 4 arms) come with an inverted dome-shaped spray liquid reservoir attached to the underside of the chassis.
The spray nozzles are located either directly beneath the rotor drive motors, which Zoomlion says helps propel spray into the crop canopy, or on spray bars or drop-legs.
An ultrasonic sensor is an option to help maintain a consistent spraying height above crops and to enable the UAVs to work on undulating or hilly terrain, above trees and so on.
A professional flight control system is included, coloured LED strip lights keep the rotorcraft visible in low-light conditions, and foldable rotor arms reduce the size of the UAVs for transportation.
The Z-LION-20 measures 2.6m (8ft 6in) across, weighs 21kg (46lb) and can carry a 15kg (33lb) payload, according to Zoomlion figures, with a working speed of 3-8kph (1-4mph) delivering typically 2-4 hectares (5-10 acres) an hour output.
Zoomlion’s larger 8-rotor Z-LION-18 measures 3m (9ft 10in) and is claimed to be capable of spraying up to 13 hectares (32 acres) per hour using up to 3 nozzles on drop-legs per rotor arm and a working speed of up to 8kph (4mph).
This model weighs 30kg (66lb) and has 18kg (39lb) of payload capacity.