Checking Cattle During Calving Season
Drones work well during calving season. A rancher can scan an entire field from 200 feet in the air, and then fly to isolated cows to check their status. At speeds of up to 35 mph, a rancher can scan an entire quarter section in under 5 minutes. Quickly finding and helping one cow having trouble could be the difference between the new calf living or not. You can see one of our Phantom 4 drones checking cattle here.
Automated Drone Flights
Barger Drone is testing Android-based software for DJI Go 4 which will automate flights. The drone will take pictures of up to six specific targets, return to home, and land itself. The pictures it took can be viewed upon it landing. The “Cattle” app is designed to check water tanks or hard to reach ravines automatically. The program does require the drone to be launched manually, and the pilot must watch the drone go through its automatic flight tasks. Contact Barger Drone if you would be interested in being a beta tester of this program.
Fully automated drones are the goal of many companies. A fully automated drone would launch, take video or pictures, land, upload the footage and recharge, without any human intervention. The ability exists from several drone vendors, including American Robotics. Barger Drone is working with these companies to test their fully automated drones for checking pastures, rather than corn and soybeans. The Scout from American Robotics is a fully automated drone, which you can see here. Fully automated drones must satisfy the FAA requirement of always being in the pilot’s line of site. This is for safety reasons, unless the FAA grants your company a waiver. A recent article on several companies report to the FAA of what may be expected can be seen here.
Ranchers should be able to send an automated drone with their herd to summer pasture, in the near future. Especially if that pasture is a significant distance from the home ranch. The drone would need power and access to a 4G cellular network. Rather than spending half a day or more each week driving to this pasture, the rancher would check the video and pictures on the internet that the automated drone took during the prior day. You can make sure the bull is in, that nothing is sick and that the cows are still in your pasture. Imagine checking your phone to make sure the cows are in and are alright. Drones save time by substituting technology for labor. The future is nearer than you think.
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