R-MAX Drone Gets Cleared for Takeoff

Taylor Hillman General, Specialty Crops, Technology, Tree, nut & vine crops, Wine

The Yamaha R-MAX was granted exemption for farming use last week by the Federal Aviation Administration. As AgNet West has reported before, the unmanned aerial vehicle is a 200-pound small helicopter about the size of a large mountain bike.

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AgNet West talked with UC Davis Biological and Agricultural Engineering Professor Ken Giles last year at the California Association of Pest Control Advisors Annual Conference. Yamaha was debuting the vehicle at the conference and Giles was involved in testing the R-MAX. Giles told attendees how the vehicle works and why it may be a beneficial tool to the state’s wine industry.

Giles emphasized that this unmanned aerial vehicle is meant to be an added tool to a current system. The tank capacity restrictions makes this technology a specialized applicator.