Phantom 3 Creators DJI Announce New Agricultural Drone

DJI is a company known for their drones, the recognisable phantom 3 is one of their models after all. While the public seek to use these drones more and more, with everything from wedding videos to football games recorded, it is no surprise that DJI just announced their latest model, Agras.

The Agras-1 is designed to help with crop spraying, with an impressive resume of being able to cover anywhere between seven and ten acres with a tank holding around ten litres of liquid. While impressive stats the more impressive features such as a microwave radar which scans the ground, this lets it automatically adjust and moderate the amount it sprays. Flying at eight metres per second, the drone is not only fast but also durable with both anti-corrosive and waterproofing measures designed to keep the drone in flight during even some little rain.

With the ability to fly manually or automatically, the drone is set to help out farmers by not only automatically crop spraying but with the eventual attachment of sensors feeding back information on the crops and farmland. Costing roughly $15,000 (approximately £9937.20) according to DJI’s comments to the wall street journal it comes in a little higher than the average consumer drone.

Elon Musk Is Hiring a Farmer

Elon Musk’s space project – SpaceX, is after a farmer. The announcement came via a job posting this week.

Now hold your horses, just like many of us, you may well have become intrigued by the possibility that Musk and Co. were investigating the possibility of farming on Mars. It turns out that this is probably not the case.

The posting itself is quite earth-related –

  • Perform practical farm activities, e.g. driving tractors, operating machinery, spraying fields, etc.

  • Procure equipment and supplies, e.g. tractors, implements, fertilizer and seed

  • Perform or arrange for the maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment

  • Maintain, monitor, and perform actions as necessary to increase the quality of crop yield

Agriculture.com (via The Verge) says that the posting is probably to do with SpaceX’s finances rather than Martian exploration. They suggest that it’s all down to the tax exemptions that can be brought by declaring land as farm land, as well as the purchase of farming equipment.

Anyway, if you are a farmer in McGregor, Texas and you’re interested in space, this job could be a nice fit.

Source: The Verge

I Spy With My Little Eye…. A Drone Watching Me?

Fox News reportedly got word of a first-ever case of a U.S. citizen being convicted and sentenced to prison based in part on evidence gathered by a drone. Farmer Rodney Brossart, from Lakota N.D., got a three-year sentence for his role in an armed standoff with police that began after he was accused of stealing his neighbors’ stray cattle in 2011.

Bossart reportedly was arrested after him and his family restricting ‘at gunpoint’ authorities armed with a search warrant to investigate the reports of his neighbors. But later, he was released on bail. Warrants were then issued for his three sons, but the family refused to show up in court. In this extreme case, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke spoken to the U.S. Border Patrol to deploy a Predator drone in order to conduct live video surveillance of the farm.

The drone monitored the family’s movements on the farm following the armed standoff. It was not clear how long the drone was deployed or whether it gathered evidence of the alleged cattle theft. However, the drone gathered enough evidence to prompt Janke’s men to finally move in November 2011, arresting five family members on terrorizing charges. Brossart was found not guilty for the cattle theft accusations, but did get three years for his part in the armed police standoff based in part on video recorded by the drone.

The case could prove significant, because Brossart’s attorney tried unsuccessfully to have the terrorizing charges related to his standoff with police dropped because evidence was gathered by the drone without a search warrant specifically allowing for it.

Should we be worried that our privacy will not be so private in the future? According to Fobers magazine, they predict it won’t be the last time drones are used to put Americans in prison, and reported the use of drones for police missions is on the rise. Between 2010 and 2012, law enforcement agencies used CBP Predator drones for 700 missions, the media outlet reported.

Thank you Fox News for providing us with this information