Although drones to help farmers are nothing new, ensuring they are as efficient as possible, collecting data from the ground and taking the appropriate action can happen straight away.

AeroVironment’s Quantix drone combines a standard drone with cloud-based analysis to collect information about agricultural land and relays this data back to the farmer, ensuring they can grow the strongest crops by continuously monitoring the conditions.

To help it carry out this job, it uses RBG and multispectral cameras to scan up to 400 acres on a single flight. The information can then be analysed on a tablet, which doubles up as the drone’s controller.

If a farmer requires more information about their land, they can use AeroVironment’s Decision Support System online portal to view a more detailed analysis.

“In many cases, farmers rely on themselves or their people to walk the fields, and if they’re managing large fields in excess of 100 acres or so, then it’s very difficult to walk the entire field in any given unit of time,” Steve Gitlin, vice president of corporate strategy at AeroVironment said. “So they have to rely on their deep experience and sampling.”

AeroVironment’s Quantix drone takes off and lands vertically, meaning it can be launched anywhere, but once it’s cruising the skies, it switches to horizontal flying to cover the largest distances it can in the shortest amount of time.

Quantix isn’t just limited for use by the agricultural industry, AeroVironment explained. It could also be used by public authorities to analyse the conditions of road surfaces, power lines and pipelines to ensure they are all operating to the optimum efficiency.

The drone and its software will be available next Spring, although prices haven’t yet been announced.