Best DIY Multirotor for Agricultural use?


I have been doing a lot of reading around the use of UAV's for Agriculture, a lessons learned by 3DR staff related to the agricultural use of UAV's ( basically said that multi rotors would be a more favourable option compared to fixed wings due to various reasons.

Multirotors come at the cost of endurance, i would really like to get some views on currently what would be the best DIY multirotor frame etc within the $1000 range that can carry a basic canon camera converted to gather NDVI images and use this in a third world country where there aren't many regulations around the usage of this technology.The goal would be a combination of basic capability of collecting NDVI images with a DIY camera with maximum endurance to maximize coverage.

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  • Daniel would you be able to show a picture of your Zephyr Setup and the motors camera etc used.

    Daniel McKinnon said:

    We cut a viewport and don't use the FPV nose cone. In the next day or two, I'll post a more detailed story of our airframe evolution.

  • :-) Indeed 

  • Hi Swift, thanks once again...i got the HK delivery last week and had work on the weekend...planning to put it together in the next few days.....have been practising on the simulator in the meantime so that its not a total disaster when i attempt to fly it!...thanks again for the offer..if its not too much of a hassle send them over...but again no hurry....i still need to put the one i got together!...ill def keep you posted. If there's anything i can help you with please let me also about to order the mobius so that by the time i start flying i can then move to the next step with the mobius.

    Once again i really appreciate all the advice,help and parts!....i think im now going to start building it tonight before i go to bed! 

    • A quick one agriavionics, although this is not the right place here for flying lessons.

      On your very first flight, go as high as possible on a straight line from take off point against the wind, than sloooooowly make a giant circle (as if you were doing 3 to 4 trim clics, no more turning effort), than once the circle is almost done, reduce the engine to zero, and glide gently against the wind in a straight line and land. You need LOTS of space and high green grass. Turn your back to the sun, do not let the plane fly behing you and the sun.

      It does not matter if you land far away from where you are, just land safely. Try to fly as high as possible as it is better to make your flying mistakes high above than near the ground.

      Do not put your cameras in it yet, master your plane first :-)

      Good luck

  • 3D Robotics

    There is already a lot of good advice out there in this thread, but our perspective at Agribotix echos that of UAV Stuff and others.

    Our experience has been that if a field is small enough to cover with a multirotor, the grower already has a good idea of what's going on. All the farmers with whom we've spoken are interested in UAVs to cover large fields that they can't assess on foot.

    We have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of flights on each of our airframes and have no issues with landing damage. This is in contrast to our early experiments with quadcopters, which involved replacing props on a pretty regular basis.

    With regards to airframe, a flying wing generally offers a much more rapid setup and tear down time and more robust package. We originally were using the Penguin and repaired a lot of damage. Since we switched to a flying wing (we have many hours on both the Zephyr and the RV Jet), we have had no structural damage to the airframe. A blog post is in the works on how Agribotix selected our airframe, but, in short, for your application I would choose a cheap flying wing.

    • Thanks Daniel,

      Thanks for your input...always interesting to hear from someone with field experience.

      I was going through conservation drones site and they seem to be working on developing a wing. At the moment a wing for me would be the last step. Once i master everything with the Bixler i plan to try the Skywalker and a Wing.

    • Interesting.

      But the RV Jet has no bottom window so how do you set up the camera so that it looks south ?

    • 3D Robotics

      We cut a viewport and don't use the FPV nose cone. In the next day or two, I'll post a more detailed story of our airframe evolution.

    • Great, thank you.

  • Thanks Swift!..i also ordered a few spares...but PM being sent!

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