Delta Drone and the management of the Swiss company AgroFly International decided to partner for the creation of a French company, AgroFly FRANCE, which will be responsible for the international distribution of the spray-by-drone system developed by the Swiss AgroFly.
AgroFly’s spray-by-drone system was the subject of over three years’ R&D and experimental testing on various crops: vines, vegetables (celery, asparagus), apricots, potatoes, soy, bananas, etc. This work was carried out in close collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture (FOAG), the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Agroscope (Swiss federal research organization) and the Syngenta Group’s application-technologies department. It is now the subject of several patents, one of which concerns the system for spraying grapevines.
AgroFly’s drone system was designed from the start to be an agricultural tool that is easy to use, sturdy and easily repaired, including on-site, with a payload capability of 20 kg, including a 16-liter tank for the product to be sprayed. R&D focused significantly on the quality of the spraying (homogeneity and quality of product application) and on implementation protocols identical to those used with ground-based spraying equipment.
In terms of airworthiness, the system is automated, particularly for rugged sites (steep incline), with the remote pilot only providing the precise setting of the flight altitude based on the crop for a preprogrammed flight plan that is carried out autonomously. A sensor in the tank ensures real-time data on levels, allowing for a return to base to fill the tank and an automatic return to its last position to continue the assignment.
Since the beginning of 2018, AgroFly has sold five systems in Switzerland, four of which to wine producers. The company also completed a full season of treating vines in the cantons of Vaud and Valais in Switzerland.
Christian Viguié, Chairman and CEO of Delta Drone, highlighted the strategic nature of this transaction: “The creation of AgroFly FRANCE is perfectly in line with our strategy aimed at providing professional solutions adapted to the various sectors the Group has chosen: the AgroFly system for agriculture rounds out our offer that, until now, was made up of the ORION system for security (designed by Elistair) and the NEOPTER system for events and amusement parks (designed by Pixiel). In France, the imminent start of a three-year authorization period for the spraying by drone of agricultural land with a slope of 30° or more should provide us with very promising opportunities, particularly with respect to vineyards. Already, several contracts have been entered into. Spraying also represents large projects, often for much larger areas outside Europe. In this context, we anticipate that the AgroFly system will progressively integrate our subsidiary Pixiel’s know-how in squadrons (as a reminder, Pixiel’s NEOPTER solution uses over 30 drones that, as a group, are putting together a scenography at the Puy du Fou theme park).
In any case, the inevitable development of sustainable precision agriculture – increasingly organic – will require the development in parallel of spraying means and methods. There is no doubt that this new technology will play an integral part in the offers being developed by Delta Drone in Africa within the framework of its partnership with Bureau Veritas.”
Frédéric Hemmeler, Founder and CEO of AgroFly and AgroFly International, specified that “This building of ties with Delta Drone, via the creation of AgroFly FRANCE, represents a major opportunity and a real turning point for us. In only a few years, our spray-by-drone technology has caught the attention of and then brought business in from many players in the Swiss wine-production business in terms of public and scientific organizations, as well as private industrial groups. The quality of our work has been acknowledged by several prizes and awards that have ensured us a significant reputation in Switzerland. Nevertheless, we are aware that the market in question is global and the commercial success of our solution requires the support of a group that has a credible international network and a perfect understanding of how drones can be used. Delta Drone is therefore the best partner we could have. The group also provides us with top-notch technological know-how for the improvement of our on-board electronic systems.”
About Delta Drone: The Delta Drone Group is a renowned player in the field of civilian drones for professional use. It offers a complete service, from data acquisition to data processing through a specifically developed information system, including a supply of professional pilots.
Delta Drone is listed on Euronext Growth Paris. ISIN code: FR0011522168
4 166 666 BSA are also listed on Euronext Growth Paris. ISIN code: FR001329977
About AgroFly International: Newly created, AgroFly International is company governed by Swiss law that combines the know-how and all the necessary forces involved in the design and development of the SpUAV agricultural tool and the solutions in connection with the AgroFly projects. It intends to occupy a major role as a catalyst in for spraying solutions and protecting plants via drones in order to become an indisputable reference at the international level.
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