New technology being previewed at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Unmanned Systems conference this week in Florida includes an unmanned helicopter from Yamaha called the RMAX.
This week's event has the most comprehensive collection of unmanned systems for every domain — air, ground and maritime. The conference featured more than 350,000 sq. ft. (32,500 sq. m.) of exhibit space, 600+ exhibitors and more than 8,000 attendees from over 55 countries.
Yamaha has been operating remotely piloted helicopters for commercial purposes since 1991 and has amassed well over 2 million total flight hours. In Japan alone, there are over 2,400 Yamaha remotely piloted helicopters utilized in agricultural applications, carrying out pest control in 35% of Japan's rice fields. Furthermore, remotely piloted helicopters are used in applications other than agriculture, such as academic research, disaster prevention, observation and survey work.
Weighing 218 lbs. and at a total length of 12 feet and a height of 3 1/2 feet, each helicopter has a load capacity of 61 lbs. and runs on a 2-stroke, horizontally opposed 2-cylinder engine.
Here is a YouTube video that shows the Yamaha UAS spraying some rice.
The base-model airframe, designed to use for agriculture, costs over $80,000. It has one GPS an can only fly within sight, and no more than 16 feet above the ground.
The Aerial Photography version can fly up to 100 metres above the ground and costs between $150,000 and $230,000.
There is also a total package which includes a ground station, antennas, computers & monitors, as well as a four-camera system. This model goes up to $1,000,000.00.