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Parrot Bluegrass and Pix4DFields for Precision Agriculture

We are going to a quick review of the Parrot Bluegrass, one of the newer drones that are out there by Parrot for precision agriculture to enable farmers to improve their return. And then also, we're gonna talk about Pix4DFields, a brand new product that was released by Pix4D.

Parrot Bluegrass -  The Multipurpose Quadcopter Solution for Agriculture

So let's talk a little bit about the Bluegrass. It runs retails for $5,000 which is interesting in that the Sequoia camera which is built into the Bluegrass on the bottom.  If we focus in the camera, you can see the 4 different bands and and an RGB Camera. So, you're getting red, green, red-edge and near infrared (NIR) for plant mapping.There's also an RGB camera on Sequoia. It is not great of a camera, but okay in terms of getting kind of general mapping.

On the front of the camera, you also have the standard Bebop camera, 14MP wide angle camera lens. It's a 1080p video camera for getting a live feed from the drone. So, if you're out there for crop scouting or you want to get some video of your fields, you can do that. With its Full HD front camera, this solution includes precision agriculture, visual monitoring of land, livestock and infrastructure. The Parrot Sequoia provides a quick and easy analysis on the health of crops and progress of growth, thanks to the user friendly drone mapping software such as Pix4Dag or AIRINOV FIRST+ cloud platform. Generate an index map of the field to monitor health status of the crop that needs scouting and optimized treatment.

The flight time on this platform is about 25 minutes and that comes with 3 Lipo batteries with capacity @ 6700 mAh. So, the total of 3 batteries are for 75 minutes of flight-time. These are lithium polymer batteries with a standard xt60 connector. So they're not smart batteries, so you need to take care of your battery.

See also: How to Mapping your Crop Using Parrot Bluegrass 

One of the downsides of this drone is actually the battery bay. It does come with this battery cover. And my concerns about this when I'm flying is that it could pop off it's just kind of a clip that. That pops on there. And this kind of tail comes out and I think that there could be some work to make this a little more secure. I tend to put a little piece of tape on there while I'm flying out in the field.

The other aspect of it. It is a little bit heavy, it comes in at about 2 kilograms. If flies, a little bit heavier just feels kind of that the weight is there. I've had to slow down the drone a little when it's landing autonomously. So that I get a more gentle landing. And the little feet of Parrot Bluegrass that are on the bottom can be a little tippy. So, make sure you do want to land on a level surface.

The big window for this particular drone is that you can fly with the Skycontroller 2 in a range of 2kms. It's a standard controller for Bebop or Parrot Disco. I can pull out my phone and use Pix4DCapture to plan a square or polygon mission set altitude. And then the drone flies, it triggers automatically. And when it lands, then I can just pull the SD card out of the sunshine sensor, at top of its body, obviously. The irradiance sensor, that's on the top, is this sensor for collecting light data or measuring levels of sunshine so that you can optimize irrigation, for example. You can correct your maps for sunny days or cloudy days. That's important for plant mapping.

Using Pix4Dfields for Agricultural Mapping with Drones

Next, we're going to be taking a look at one such software from Pix4D, called the Pix4DFields. Pix4Dfields is a tool set for drone mapping in agriculture. Created with the help of farmers, agronomists, and breeders, Pix4Dfields is designed especially for this industry. From the flight planning app to mapping with innovative instant stitching technology, Pix4Dfields unlocks a new set of tools for both in field and office analysis. Pix4Dfields is optimized for agriculture with projects built around field boundaries and exports to standard farming management platforms. New tools connect what you see on the map to what is happening in the field. Pix4Dfields so nation and prescription tools help you get farm ready information faster, scout efficiently, and diagnose faster, then translate vegetation index maps into better management zones, and bring your results back to the field. Pix4Dfields is designed to be the only agricultural drone mapping tool you need. You can get one month subscription for free and an experience in instant data analysis.

Subscription Pricing Options

So that's a wrap on Pix4DFields. Pix4DFields can be combined with some of these integrated solutions such as the Parrot Bluegrass or Parrot Disco-Pro Ag as well as eBee SQ. I think they're going to support a whole range of cameras. And so to be able to stitch data very quickly combined with integrated hardware and sensors together. I think they'll improve the tools and the processing and the visualizations over time. And if we look at pricing it's $2,500 a year or 250 a single month. So I could see you could buy it just a month at a time throughout the growing season. Or you can invest in the whole year.


At this point you're probably impressed, and would like to get the Bluegrass $5,000 for the drone 3 batteries. As far as features go, Bluegrass is an amazing piece of technology for carrying out in the field. And you use the controller and a fully integrated Sequoia camera to bring FPV video streaming and intelligent flight modes into your autoflight/mission planning. And then Pix4DFields a new product by Pix4D for rapid processing really, a game changer when it comes to service providers that are trying to process plant mapping data, sets out in the field in real time. So you can get out there and really inspect your data just right after a flight.

I don't have one bad thing to say about this drone, and I think that professionals who will find investing in a drone of this caliber will agree with me. You need to have a large farm, with thousands of acres to justify the purchase of this drone.