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The Flying Farmhand

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

By Tim Wright February 15, 2018

A metal box about the size of a washing machine sits on the ground at a vineyard, when suddenly its top panel splits open and slides sideways. Riding a lift inside the box, a large quadcopter slowly emerges. Within moments, the drone is flying a grid pattern over the grapes, snapping hundreds of photographs with a multispectral camera. When the mission is completed the quadcopter returns to its “hangar,” where it recharges its batteries and uploads the images to a website, where they are combined to create a detailed, nuanced map of the vineyard. This modest-looking little hangar and the drone it houses are the clearest signs yet that agriculture is on the verge of technological shift, with other industries not far behind.

Source: Air & Space Smithsonian


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