The Californian start-up Pyka has designed an electric drone to spread pesticides. It has just received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US agency in charge of civil aviation regulations and controls, to fly its craft over fields in the United States.
Limit development flights
This green light only concerns development flights, says Canadian media Press. Another type of certification will have to be granted so that Pyka can market its aircraft.
Modern agriculture already relies on the use of pesticide drones. But the young Californian shoot wants to stand out from its competitors thanks to its autonomous electric plane with pesticide storage capacities far superior to the drones usually used. While the machine can spread these products over a hundred hectares per hour, the AGRAS MG-1 drone from Chinese DJI has, for comparison, a maximum capacity of seven hectares per hour.
A large spreading capacity
The aircraft has other advantages. It can transport up to 200 kilograms thanks to its three 20 kilowatt motors. The aircraft also offers great precision as it flies low and is able to adapt to its environment by avoiding obstacles set in advance by the operators.
To accelerate the development of its aircraft, Pyka raised $ 11 million in December 2019 from Prime Movers Lab with the participation of Y Combinator, Greycroft, Data Collective and Bold Capital Partners.