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Drone AG, a drone-assisted precision agriculture firm, announce a new partnership with South African data analytics company Aerobotics, to provide weather-proof agricultural drone systems and a unique support service, alongside powerful cloud-based farm management software.

On 1st March 2017, Drone AG launched a new enterprise-level drone sales and software programme for UK agronomists and agribusinesses. A recently developed quad-copter, named ‘Storm Agri Pro’, will be the focus of sales, being rain-proof, wind resilient, robust and carrying the latest sensors for agricultural remote sensing activities. To compliment the new hardware, data processing will be handled by software partner, Aerobotics, through their cloud-based platform, AeroView.

‘Whilst the data collected by drone systems has shown to be extremely useful in activities such as assessing plant health and identifying weed growth, we have experienced issues with the process of turning the raw data into useable on-farm information’.

‘AeroView provides an intuitive and easy-to-use platform with ground-breaking analytics, which simplifies the process end-to-end and gives our clients the information they need to make better decisions on the ground’.

‘We believe the combination of a UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] built for agriculture, alongside a powerful, user friendly farm management tool and a nation-wide support service, will open the doors to numerous high-precision farming techniques, bringing clear advantages to our clients very quickly’. Hugh Wrangham, Drone AG Managing Partner.

The new drone systems are built in the UK by Drone AG’s parent company, and DJI Enterprise Partner; The Drone Aerial Operators Group. They use high-end DJI components and can cover large areas quickly, even in adverse weather conditions. They feature dual compass and redundant flight control, meaning that if any of the three on-board flight controllers were to fail, the system would remain flyable. There are also numerous sensor options, including Parrot’s Sequoia multi-spectral sensor, developed specifically for calibrated analysis of crop health and cropping defects.

‘The drone system is designed to be versatile and robust, but also modular and easy to upgrade, allowing us to keep our clients up-to-date with the latest technology available to them. With technology advancing all the time, our new support service gives us the flexibility to not only provide on-going operational support, but also physically update and upgrade systems and have them returned to our clients quickly and ready to fly’. Hugh Wrangham, Drone AG.

The partnership between the two firms has a simple goal – to make Drone AG and Aerobotics the clear choice for high-precision farm management.

“At Aerobotics we are passionate about helping farmers improve their yields and reduce their costs. Over the past 2 years we have worked with hundreds of farmers across South Africa and Australia. We have designed our system in conjunction with our clients on the ground to provide what we believe is the most user friendly platform currently on the market, packed with ground-breaking data analytics. We are really excited about our rollout into the UK market and in particular our partnership with Drone AG and their advanced data collection platforms” James Paterson, Aerobotics CEO.

Whilst satellites still offer the ‘big data’ of choice for many operations, they remain expensive, low-resolution, affected by cloud-cover, and it often takes some time to actually get hold of the data. UAV data is higher resolution, easy to capture, less affected by weather and carries lower costs, but for some it can still be time-consuming to process into useable information.

‘Data quality, ground-truthing, data interpretation and export capabilities carry the most importance for us. But the time, effort, and expense to achieve the results are what really matter to our clients. We have to streamline the workflow process’.

‘Collaborating with Aerobotics and their AeroView platform simplifies everything – importing and creating field boundaries, planning UAV flights, and uploading the data, are all done in a few clicks and the entire workflow will be supported from a single platform’.

‘Processing times are fast (24hrs) – meaning farmers see the benefits as quickly as possible; with the ability to ground-truth the processed information from a tablet or smartphone in the field, annotate with GPS precision, and export data directly to precision agriculture machinery’. Hugh Wrangham, Drone AG.

Drone AG will be offering the drone systems with all that is required to survey large areas of land on a consistent basis. They also include a day’s training, during which clients will learn to fly the systems safely and lawfully, as well as use the systems autonomously to gather aerial data and subsequently analyse the data in AeroView.

Pre-orders are being taken now for sales of the enterprise drone, support and software package, as well as the UK-wide aerial data services.

For more information, contact

Drone AG is a trading name of The Drone Aerial Operators Group Ltd. The Steadings, East Lilburn, Northumberland, UK.

AeroView is an online software platform developed by Aerobotics, Tollgate Industrial Centre, 12 Ravenscraig Road, Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa.

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