Concerns with Agricultural Drones

It’s natural to think that any innovation in agriculture which saves time and money must be a good thing. However, there are potential issues with the MG-1 that could jeopardize its widespread adoption.

These are the usual apprehensions that come with virtually any new drone:

  • Privacy
  • Regulation
  • Safety.

The fact that the MG-1 uses microwave radar for navigation means that privacy is less of a concern than it would be if it used cameras.

The worries about regulation and safety are more difficult to dismiss.

The current regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the United States require users to obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order to operate UAVs in national airspace. Individual requests for exemption are required for commercial or business purposes.

Unfortunately, the current case-by-case approval system is far from ideal, as demonstrated by the Connecticut lawyer who managed to get FAA approval for a powered paper airplane.

It’s also much harder to hold someone accountable for the actions of an automated crop-spraying drone than for manual crop spraying.