A few farmers took the controls, and one commented on how easy it was to fly, thanks in part to the operator’s having a live video feed on a tablet or smartphone. Another worthwhile feature is that when the controls are left untouched, the drone will simply hover. GPS software enables it to keep its exact position, automatically compensating for the prevailing wind.
Before take-off, the drone records its position and saves this as the ‘home point’. You also set a fail-safe altitude, such as 40m. This is the altitude at which the drone will return home, avoiding obstacles like tall buildings and trees. In flight, if the signal is lost between the drone and the operator, the ‘return to home’ (RTH) safety feature is activated and the drone flies back to its starting point.
The unmanned aerial vehicle is powered by a rechargeable battery; the operator is signalled when the capacity reaches 30%. If no action is taken after a 10-second countdown, the RTH feature brings the drone home. The thresholds for the warnings are automatically determined, based on the aircraft’s current altitude and distance from the home point.
All the bells and whistles
The DJI 3 Pro can fly (line of sight) 5km from the remote controller. Its high-tech video camera is attached to a gimbal, allowing the controller to tilt the lens for the best possible picture. Video and photos are stored on a memory card on the drone. Infrared cameras (FLIR)are also available, however presently they are very expensive.
A means to combat stock theft
By using this drone, farmers who struggle with stock theft can plan various flight path routes to fly. Such routes can be flown at night, with a simple push of a button. And with FLIR cameras, you can watch for trespassers. (Visit flylitchi.com to learn how to plot a route on a map and insert waypoints.)
Greg Miles is a livestock farmer and internet marketer.