— My friend and co-author of creating agricultural drone Dmitry Samsonenko month and a half looking for the farmer who has agreed to the experiment — processing of fields with our aircraft — told the “FACTS” programmer from Kiev to Vlad yusim. He and Dmitry Samsonenko presented Ukraine’s first drone for farmers at the exhibition Innovation market, held last week in the capital. Our perseverance was crowned with success, a farmer from Kyiv oblast decided to cooperate: select a field with an area of 12.5 hectares sown with sunflower. During the field season we completed full cycle processing of crops — fertilized and treated with chemicals against pests… the Farmer was satisfied, and said that next year will gladly continue to work with us.
— All accustomed to, that field from the air is treated aircraft-“crop dusters”. Using drones perform this job more efficiently?
Yes. After all, a big plane can’t spray fertilizers and plant protection products point — often carries chemicals (especially in windy weather) anywhere. Our device (called the device) flies over the crops at a height of two meters. Due to this, the sprayed chemicals are exactly where you need it. Given the impressive cost of fuel processing fields using traditional aircraft and helicopters comes at a price. The use of a drone to accomplish this task is a few times cheaper. It turned out that to edit the fields using the hexacopter is more profitable than to use for this purpose the tractor that destroys the wheels of the crops.
— What is the performance of your aircraft?
15 minutes hexacopter able to handle four hectares. It is quite a lot. We program the UAV to complete the task, and he does the work, defining its location via GPS. When suspended from the tricopter container ends substance, which he sprayed over the field, the onboard control system gives the command to return to base. This happens when the batteries discharge (on Board four) happens to be any damage. After replacing the batteries and filling with chemical apparatus continues the processing of the field, which interrupted the work.
— Why is the device called a hexacopter?
— Because he has six screws. Here it is necessary to clarify that “hexa” is the first part of the compound word and translates from Greek as “six”. More known among the inhabitants quadcopters — drones with four propellers.
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— How did you and Dimitri got the idea to build a hexacopter for processing of fields?
I have a firm that deals with security systems and video surveillance. Several years ago we received an order for the installation of such systems in rural areas. Then I thought: why not use in our business with Dmitry hobby? We student years addicted to building drones. Each enthusiastically supported the idea and we got down to business. Prior to that gathered little quadcopters, and here it was necessary to make a professional camera.
— How much time was spent on its development?
Two years. Can’t say that everything went well: it happened that the apparatus was broken. The first version turned out with a working load capacity of 35 pounds. But with such weight on Board began to fail the battery. As I said, four of them, each worth nearly $ 100. So that the output of the battery failure comes at a price. Through trial and error came to the optimal weight of the suspended containers with chemicals to ten pounds. Tests last summer in the sunflower field showed that the device and its software ready for widespread use.
— How much it has cost to develop?
— Spent two years, more than 15 thousand dollars. Invested their money. For further development of the project looking for investors.
— Worked hexacopter in their spare time?
— I established my firm so that I have plenty of time on a new business project for agricultural hexacopter.
— It exists in a single copy?
— Yes. Notice that most of the parts we with Dmitry manufactured using a 3D printer. The most important is discharged from the China — screws and motors. Currently negotiating with the Embassy of India on delivery to this country of our devices — it is planned that they will handle the plants, planted on terraces on the hillsides. If we manage to sign the Indian contract, lease area, hire staff and begin production of our hexacopters.
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Is considered, what will be their cost?
— About five or six thousand dollars. Notice that to sell the drones will only be abroad. And in Ukraine plan to provide treatment services fields from the air.
— Do you have competitors?
Yes. One of the Chinese companies engaged in the creation of drones for agriculture at the same time with us. She has incomparably more resources and specialists. The result of their work with Dmitry we saw last year at the specialized exhibition in China is already a ready-to-use devices. The creation of such drones is also one startup in the US.
Key features of “flying tractor”
- Weight — 19 pounds
- Time of flight with a load of 10 pounds — 15 minutes
- The working speed was 25.2 km / h
- Top speed of 71.9 kilometers per hour
- Spray width up to 8 meters
Meanwhile, as reported “FACTS”, on Donbass fighters of one of the special units received and tested a unique drone.
The photo in the header: programmers Vlad yusim (left) and Dmitry Samsonenko friends from College, both graduated from the KPI. Negotiations are underway to supply their drones to India. Photo by the author
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