“Drone on a bike” to reach remote places, lower the cost of drone transportation.
IoTechWorld Avigation, based in Gurugram, has created the ‘Agribot,’ which the business claims are the first drone that can be carried on a motorcycle. It can be taken to remote places, and the company’s app connects its dealers and service providers with farmers interested in hiring drones.
Anoop Upadhyay, co-founder and director of IoTechWorld, stated, ‘We truly look forward to tremendous growth in the next few years, particularly following the introduction of the drone policy and recommendations released by the government on the spraying of fertilizers and pesticides.’
In the future, the company anticipates that its ‘Drone on Bike’ variation will account for the lion’s share of total sales. Agribot drone boxes, weighing 25 kg including battery and payload (pesticide solution), have been specifically constructed for a bike.
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As a result, farmers and service providers will be able to transport drones to any field on their bikes. Furthermore, carrying costs will be lower because riding a bike is less expensive than renting a four-wheeler. Upadhyay further stated that IoTechWorld is the first firm in India to gain DGCA permission for agricultural drones.
He stated that the company expects to sell 1,500-2,000 drones this fiscal year because it has obtained a government license and promises service to clients. However, there are many cheaper unauthorized drones on the market that are unreliable. Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh are all highly promising, he said, adding that the corporation wants to expand its footprint in all states gradually.
‘We’ve released an app called ‘Agrinet,’ which is available on Google Play, and any farmer can use it to connect with a service provider to hire our Agribot.’ Initially, just Agribot will be available, but the idea is to expand it to include additional brands in the future. ‘This is an incentive for dealers to sell our drones, and customers looking to rent out may also benefit from the App,’ Upadhyay explained.
The drone costs between ₹6.75 and 10 lakh rupees, depending on its carrying capacity of pesticide solutions or water-soluble fertilizers and additional batteries. A drone pilot can fly for two hours on six batteries, with one battery lasting approximately 20 minutes.
‘Because spraying is done in the morning or evening, the pilot can operate for three hours in the morning, following which the batteries can be recharged in 45 minutes and used in the next shift in the evening,’ he explained, adding that the drone can cover up to 25-30 acres in six working hours.
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The actual flying time in a shift may be 2-.2.5 hours because the battery must be changed as well as the tank filled with pesticide solution, he said, adding that actual spraying takes six minutes to cover an acre of land.
He emphasized that 50% of the production is done in India using its own software and some components, but that it can potentially be done wholly in India if sales expand and farmers adopt this technology on a bigger scale.
A single drone can be used for 5-6 years before needing to be replaced. Agribot is beneficial for crop growth/health mapping and crop cutting trials to determine yield, in addition to spraying pesticides and fertilisers.