Drones to replace motorbikes
AIRLINE pilot John Davison and airline engineer David Storen teamed up two years ago and founded Airview Drones.
They started off doing mostly real estate photography, but have since identified a major opportunity in farming drones.
They offer drones for basic trough and gate inspections, through to checking sheep and cattle without the need to go into paddocks, open gates and drive around – which can be especially handy in winter.
“You can fly a drone and check out the lambing or calving without disturbing the herd,” said Mr Davison.
“And we can scan paddocks with special cameras and tell you how they’re doing.”
They can detect soil erosion and perform quantity estimat- ing, if you need to cut out land for a house or dam.
They also can use thermal cameras for pest eradication.
“It takes a lot for pressure off the land,” said Mr Davison.
He believes drones will soon take the place of motorbikes on farms.
“And we price them at the same level,” he said.
“You can pick up a bike for around two grand and you can get one of our drones for the same amount.”
They also offer solutions for people that need the drones for specific services, and then modify the drones specifically for them.
“I come out and demonstrate the drone to the farmer before they outlay any money,” said Mr Davison.
“I show them how to fly it, upgrade the software and look after it all.”
He said age is no barrier once he demonstrates how to use the technology.
“I have a 74-year-old farmer that struggles with his health, so we set it up so he just has to press play and his drone automatically flies its path, and he sits there with a cup of tea.
“It takes a photo of each of his troughs and gates and feeding points, and he can also watch the live video on his iPad while it’s flying on its path.
“Then it lands exactly where it took off from.”
They are also starting to see a lot of people who are losing a fortune in cattle theft going to drones for security purposes.
The company is a registered retailer for DJI Drones and they service all of Victoria.
UP, UP AND AWAY: John Davison from Airview believes drones will soon replace a lot of the jobs a motorbike is needed for on a farm.