Brett Chilcott with AgEagle UAVs

(Brett Chilcott) AgEagle was real pleased to welcome the Kansas Farm Bureau folks. We had about 40 of our good friends out here watching the AgEagle fly and they even had a chance to tour our facility there in Neodesha. AgEagle got started, we were making composite parts, fiberglass parts for trucks and the wind turbine industry. And one of our employees learned about Kansas State University working with basically robotic or model airplanes at this time of surveying crops, and we learned about the benefits. And the employee knew that I had a background of aviation and also model aviation and suggested that I reach out to them to see if there’s a potential of collaborating together. And so we did. We built some aircraft for them and I learned about the technology there. This was about three years ago. And I learned at that time that this is a brand new technology that’s gonna really benefit farmers. I felt like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates on the start of the computer industry, of the UAV ag industry. And I knew that if we could develop this technology with Kansas State’s help and focus on the benefits to the farmer, not benefits on the technology, but make the technology work for the farmer. And so it would save them money, the technology. It was a win-win situation. It was a good opportunity. So basically, Kansas State University helped transfer the technology to us in Neodesha, so we could start a Kansas-based firm, focusing on agriculture and robotic aircraft. The real benefit of this is not the aircraft. The benefit is the images that the aircraft captures and the data that’s created from that image. The end result can be a geo-referenced image or a prescription map that’s used in the chemical applicator. So, it will ultimately turn the nozzles on and off so you apply the chemicals and material only where it’s needed and at the right amount that’s needed. Ultimately it saves the farmer a lot of money. As far as a true dollar value-I think it’s too early to tell. This technology is less than two years old and I don’t think there’s been enough study to really support a percentage. However, some folks are supporting that it’s somewhere around 20 percent a farmer could save in reduction of chemicals. But there will be a lot of studies. In fact we’ll be doing some studies this year to validate that. So, the folks that are investing in this technology, the ag yield, have been farmers. Mostly larger farmers. And also agronomists and some co-ops. So, about 50 percent of our sales have been to farmers and the other 50 percent have been to co-ops and crop consultants. So rather than develop a product when we sought out to start the company, and then try to sell or apply that product to the customer, we went to the customer and asked them what was important? And we asked them-what is your biggest fear if you would invest in this technology? The biggest fear was, number one do I have to land it by myself? The second fear was do I have to take off by myself? The third fear was how do I make it scan the field? And so, against the opposition that people said it couldn’t be done, we figured out a way to make the aircraft launch by itself, scan over the field by itself and land all by itself. It does that all autonomously. You can control this system from your smart phone or your iPad. And while the aircraft’s flying this is a cellular modem that transfers the images from the camera, through the Cloud, to a server and it processes these images. So, by the time the aircraft lands, the agronomist or farmer has the aerial image of their field in a format called NDVI, that shows the health of the crop. And so he can do ground truthing immediately after flight. And to add to that the ground truthing displayed on your iPad shows an icon of where you’re standing in relationship to the field. So, if there’s an area of concern in the field, you can walk directly to those areas and ground truth it. Imagine this, a farmer or agronomy company can have one agronomist at a computer and multiple interns flying multiple AgEagles and calling the intern after he flies a field and say, hey I see something in the northwest corner of that field that doesn’t look right. Would you go get me a tissue sample and bring that back? That agronomist can manage many fields at the same time. How you can learn about AgEagle is through our internet page, web page, at ageagle.com, that’s a-g-e-a-g-l-e.com or on Facebook. We have an active Facebook page where some of our customers are posting aerial images and success stories that they’re having.

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