As drones in agriculture become more popular, farmers seek the best options to perform their job efficiently, improve crop profit, and save time. However, one of the hurdles of flying a drone around a farm usually comes down to flying time, and how much downtime there is for batteries to charge. With a mission to design the most advanced multirotor UAVs in the market, Quaternium expects to redefine those limits with the HYBRiX.20, the first petrol-electric multicopter.
Designed for surveillance, fast response, inspection, mining, mapping, and agriculture, the HYBRiX combines batteries and fuel to maximize power and efficiency. With this, the drone enables 2 hours of continuous aerial operation with maximum payload even in adverse weather conditions. By having a built-in capacity of 5 liters of fuel, which enables operators to stay in the air longer without having to wait for a lengthy recharge time. In addition, the HYBRiX features removable arms for easy transportation and fast deployment.
A recent application of the HYBRiX drone was at an Orange farm near Valencia, Spain. Apart from livestock and crop’s health monitoring, estimating soil conditions, planting future crops, and fighting infections and pests, one of the topics gaining traction in agriculture is the use of drones to spray fertilizer over fields. The propulsion system of the HYBRiX allows the aircraft to carry up to 10 liters of liquid with a maximum takeoff weight of 25 kg. In combination with the 2 to 4 hours flight time, farmers can cover larger acres of land in the shortest amount of time.
“I am really glad to see that the entire spraying process in my orange fields only took about 6 hours,” said Pedro Andreu (Pere) the owner of the farm. “With other drones, we had to spend multiple hours waiting for batteries to charge and days to finish the work.”
Currently, Quaternium is improving this technology to extend crop protection across the country so that farmers can benefit from the outcome to make their work more efficient.
In addition to agriculture, Benidorm’s Police is using the HYBRiX to solve problems more efficiently, such as search and rescue missions or control of illegal dumping, and to improve the protection of Benidorm citizens.
“As a Police tool, this device has the advantage of endurance, enabling us to start and finish the job without needing to return to the takeoff point to change the batteries in order to extend the flight time,” Benidorm Local Police Agent Francisco Albero Clemente said. “This aircraft allows us to perform operations similar to those of a helicopter, at a reduced cost.”