Chinese ag-drone spayer maker helping with coronavirus

By Luke Geiver | February 12, 2020

An agricultural-focused drone platform and systems developer from China has shifted its focus to helping stop the spread of Covid19, the novel coronavirus that has caused a global health emergency. Through its five million Juan fund (roughly $775,000), the company will pay for all maintenance and spare parts of any of its drones used during voluntary disinfectant operations. XAG will also supply the drones or other unmanned systems.

According to the company, operations will target densely populated areas that are common gathering areas in the outdoors. Along with outdoor gathering places, XAG will look to help disinfect medical and prevention vehicles moving between affected and unaffected areas.

“Agricultural drone, as an autonomous precision spraying tool, can be a highly effective alternative to accurately release disinfectants over public places. Compared with traditional disinfection approaches conducted by hands or lorry, drones can be directed to spray where it is needed and cover a wider area, helping to improve public hygiene and reducing the risk of virus transmission through surface contact,” XAG said in a statement. “In China's Shandong province, XAG's drone fleets were deployed by a crop protection team on 28 January to disinfect a local community of over 300,000 square metres in less than 4 hours.”

XAG has also deployed an unmanned ground vehicle, Jifei, in February. The Jifei R80 agricultural unmanned vehicle has a variety of operation modes to choose from, which can be controlled by a Jifei ACS2 one-handed joystick or directly on the Jifei agricultural app. It can also be accurately and automatically planned according to local conditions and street conditions to Spray the route, drive automatically and avoid obstacles, the company said.

Regarding the solution being sprayed, the company said At present, the disinfectants sprayed on urban streets, communities, and rural areas are mainly 84 disinfectant solutions (generally effective chlorine concentration is 4 percent to 7 percent).