Gauging interest in drones

by Kathy Huting for Farm Industry News

We recently hosted a poll on our website to gauge how farmers think and feel about using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on their operations. And it appears there is a lot of interest in the technology. As of today, the majority of those who responded to the survey said they were strongly interested in purchasing a UAV for their farm. Yet, the second highest option selected suggests many farmers don’t have a UAV planned in the budget, so there may still be mixed feelings on just how the tech will be beneficial.

We’re taking our UAV poll down for now, but we invite you to participate by voting in our next one: What tech tool do you most rely on in your operation?

And in light of closing down our UAV poll and sharing the results with you (see graphic), we’re also rounding up some interesting recent news on UAVs.

USAA asks FAA for permission to fly PrecisionHawk UAV

PrecisionHawk is a company that’s expanded quickly in recent years, and agriculture is one core industry for their focus. They offer a range of UAVs and aerial imagery services. They announced in a recent newsletter that the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) has petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to fly PrecisionHawk UAVs as part of continued research to use aircraft to survey the effects of disasters and research claims.

“With this new technology, it would allow us to get to the scene, evaluate and coordinate, get there and get the information safer and quicker,” says Kathleen Swain, property and casualty staff, USAA.

Read more on USAA’s proposal here.

Source: PrecisionHawk

Five questions about the future of drones

In this Q&A, Colin Guinn of 3D Robotics answers questions about some of the most exciting uses for drones in the future. An excerpt from the story:

“Photographers and filmmakers can show us ourselves and our world like we've never seen it before. Farmers and architects and engineers can target their action more effectively based on incredibly accurate and reliable empirical information, obtained whenever they want it. Ecologists and activists use drones to help do things like save rhinos and elephants from poachers and curb deforestation.”

Read more on Colin Guinn’s look at the future of drone usage.

Source: Engadget

New charging pad developed for UAVs

Skysense Inc. has launched a line of charging pads that are made specifically for UAVs, making them completely autonomous. A UAV lands on the Skysense Charging Pad, and it starts re-charging automatically. The company says the new technology is attracting a lot of attention from UAV makers, and also end users who want to retrofit it for their own UAV.

Read more on Skysense’ new Charging Pad for UAVs

Source: UAS Magazine

Six companies operating UAS for movie, TV production

In late September, FAA announced it is granting exceptions for six companies to use UAS for film production. It’s a step in the right direction to expand commercial usage, the category in which agriculture falls. Sometime this month, FAA is reportedly on schedule to release more solid regulations for both the movie industry and agriculture, but we’re still waiting to hear an official announcement. In the meantime, watch this NBC video on the movie companies using UAS:

FAA grants 6 companies permissions to use drones

Source: NBC News

Phantom drone named best buy

Yesterday, Time Magazine published an article on the “best drone you can buy,” and they’ve named DJI innovations’ Phantom 2 Vision+ for a number of reasons, including a good price, ease of use, an app you can use to monitor footage, and more. At the Prescision Aerial Ag Show this summer, many of the farmers we spoke to who use UAVs on their farms said they were using a Phantom model from DJI. Read more from Time on their thoughts about this popular UAV.

This is the Best Drone you can Buy Right Now