Autonomous drone lives in a shed, down on the farm
Drones can be of great use to farmers, for doing aerial inspections of their crops. The fact is, though, flying the things back and forth over the fields can be both tricky and time-consuming. That's why Boston-based American Robotics created the Scout. It does everything autonomously, so users can reportedly just set it and forget it for an entire season.
The Scout itself is a quadcopter equipped with both visual and multispectral cameras, and it resides in an included weatherproof shelter known as the Drone Station. When it's time for it to make its daily crop-inspection flight, the roof of the shelter retracts, and the drone automatically takes to the air. It follows a schedule, although it can also be sent out on demand.
The route that it subsequently follows is preprogrammed when the system is initially set up.
Upon completion of the flight, the Scout lands itself back on the shelter, and is lowered inside. Its battery is then automatically juiced up for next time, while the drone uploads its gathered data to a cloud-based server. The farmer can then access that data on their computer, checking for crop stress.
According to the company, the system has already been implemented "in a range of agricultural locations" across the US.
You can see the Scout in action, in the video below.
Source: American Robotics