Drone giant DJI launches crop-spraying drone

DJI crop spraying drone Image copyright DJI

Billion-dollar drone company DJI is expanding from consumer and camera drones into the agriculture industry.

The Chinese firm's latest model is a crop-spraying drone, which it claims is "40 times more efficient" than manual spraying, despite having just 12 minutes of flight time.

It will be released in China and Korea where hand-spraying is more common.

DJI made $500m (£332m) in drone sales in 2014 and some analysts predict the firm will hit $1bn in sales this year.

The Agras MG-1 has eight rotors and can carry up to 10kg of crop-spraying fluids per flight.

The foldable device is also dustproof, water-resistant and made of anti-corrosive materials, the firm says on its website (in Chinese).

Farmers around the world have used drones for some time but generally for monitoring their crops and livestock.

Huge farms use aircraft for crop-dusting but they can be very expensive.

"With this new product, we've shown that DJI can not only offer the ultimate aerial experience for the mass consumer, but also improve the efficiency of production and benefit so many others in all walks of life," said DJI chief executive and founder Frank Wang.

The Wall Street Journal reports it is expected to be priced at around $15,000 (£10,000).

DJI's current best seller, the Phantom 2 Vision+ camera drone, can cost up to $1100.

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