XAG unveils new drones and field robots for Chinese market

XAG has also announced actions to scale-up its AI prescription map service for crop spraying in China.
According to Justin Gong, Co-founder of XAG, as urbanisation in China continues to accelerate and will reach over 65% by 2050, rural aging and loss of agricultural workforce might be eating into a food-secure future. “In face of these challenges, we need to leverage the power of agri-tech to reshape the agriculture and food system, bridging the rural digital divide and helping farmers yield a higher profit margin of producing crops,” he said.

XAG P Series Agricultural Drone
XAG P40 and P80 are two new models of XAG’s P Series agricultural drone. They are rolled out to provide various types of farms with more efficient, flexible unmanned operations. Equipped with the SuperX4 Intelligent Control System, the new P Series drone can switch between three different payload systems – XAG RealTerra, RevoSpray, and RevoCast. This unlocks a three-in-one functional design that allows the drone to conduct autonomous mapping, precision spraying, and intelligent broadcast on complex terrains.

Drone controlled with a mobile app
Users can control the new XAG P Series with a mobile app to collect high-definition field maps, distribute seeds, spread fertilisers, and apply pesticides, which in the past can only be realised by multiple tools. Compared with traditional crop protection drones, it substantially lowers the barrier to adoption and makes previously tedious, laborious farming tasks much simpler, says XAG.

Cover 15 hectares of land per hour
XAG says its P40 Agricultural Drone is designed for smallholder farms. Utilising the RealTerra system that features rotary atomisation spraying technology, XAG P40 can carry a 20L liquid tank and cover 15 hectares of land per hour with even, precise crop protection. When using the RevoCast system, together with a 25L container, the P40 drone can deliver 2.4 tons of fertilisers or 1.6 tons of rice seeds in one hour.

XAG P80 drone
In addition, the XAG P80 Agricultural Drone is developed to meet the needs of users serving a larger field area. It elevates drone capacity to 40kg and is able to cover 20 hectares of farmland in an hour with variable-rate spraying.

XAG V40 dual-rotor drone
The Chinese company also launched the V40 Agricultural Drone. XAG says the V40 can fully utilise its downdraft to make spray particles better penetrate into the leaves and plants. “The effect of spray penetration increases by more than 2 times compared to that of the traditional crop-spraying drones. This means that it can minimise spray drift and avoid any overlaps or misses, uniformly covering a larger field area to limit crop damage and reduce grain loss,” says XAG.

The V40 also supports the RealTerra, RevoSpray, and RevoCast systems. That means users can use one device for producing HD field maps, direct seeding, or crop spraying.

When it comes to crop spraying, with 20kg capacity and 10 metre spray width, V40 can complete unmanned operations on a scale of 16 hectares an hour.

XAG R150 Unmanned Ground Vehicle: labour-saving broadcast and mowing
Two new editions for large-scale broadcast and precision mowing of the R150 Unmanned Ground Vehicle were also launched. The R150 debuted in China last year with a wide range of capabilities, such as crop spraying, on-farm transport, and field monitoring. “Thanks to the centimetre-level navigation network, farm workers only need to press a few buttons and this lightweight farm robot can operate automatically under precision control,” says XAG.

According to XAG, the Chinese agri-sector is still characterised as a smallholder economy where small plots pose serious constraints to mechanisation. Besides, a considerable proportion of China’s farmlands is located on hills or mountains, creating a strong market demand for small-to-medium sized agricultural machinery with unmanned driving systems.

For instance, the majority of rice fields is traditionally transplanted by hand, a manual process that is time-consuming while causing uneven seed distribution and lower crop yields. The broadcast edition of XAG R150 aims to resolve this by offering large-scale unmanned spreading operation in open fields and orchards.

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With a 220L container and the RevoCast system, The R150 can deliver crop seeds, grass seeds, solids, organic fertilisers, etc. into the targeted areas. Another R150 mower edition, as opposed to the existing manual push mower, is to provide users with a 5-time more effective method to combat the growth of weeds and enhance the ease of weed control.

AI prescription maps
XAG aims to reduce the use of pesticides through introducing prescription map technology for site-specific spraying using drones and robots. XAG RealTerra is the payload system that makes using prescription maps for seeding, fertilisation, and crop protection possible. With RealTerra, the new P Series and V Series dronescan be used for aerial mapping.

RealTerra can also automatically identify field boundaries, plant density as well as crop growth status to calculate the amount of pesticides needed for the defined zone.

A prescription map would then be generated in a mobile app to indicate variations in crops and guide variable-rate application of the agricultural drones.