A side-by-side comparison
A spray drone can be very useful addition for property owners and contractors in Australia in 2023. But they are technical machines and not everyone has the time to do all the research before making a decision. This table has been prepared as a summary of the important things to consider and what to look out for when doing your research.
DJI Agras T40
Example brand / model for comparison
Max droplet size
E.g. 400 microns (smaller droplets)
Range (how far it can go)
2km (The maximum flight radius that can be set).
E.g. 1km (The maximum flight radius that can be set).
Spray width 'swath'
11 m at 2.5 m relative to operating height, flight speed 7 m/s)
E.g. 8 m at 3.5 m relative to operating height, flight speed 3 m/s)
Liquid tank: 40L
E.g. Liquid tank: 50L
Remote Controller (RC)
Large proprietary RC with built-in screen.
E.g. No screen (need to use phone).
Mapping and variable rate spraying
Use the DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral (M3M) mapping drone to create a regular map or NDVI map of your crop. DJI Terra will create a variable rate prescription mission for the T40. Or choose to manually draw polygons (with PC mouse) around sections of the crop that need spraying. M3M + T40 is a powerful combination that can result in much smarter spraying than simply spraying everything and with the same application rate.
No decent mapping drone (regular or multispectral) therefore no mapping + spraying connected workflow. You simply have to spray everything and all at the same rate.
Mobility and weight
38kg without battery and empty spray tank.
E.g. 54kg without battery and empty spray tank.
D-RTK2 mobile station.
E.g. Simulated RTK
Fly's on 1 battery
E.g. Needs 2 batteries to fly
Minimum granule size spreader can handle
0.5 mm (500 microns)
E.g. 1 mm (1000 microns)
Hovering Accuracy w/radar on
Without RTK: Horizontal ±60 cm, Vertical ±10 cm
E.g. Without RTK: Horizontal ±60 cm, Vertical ±30 cm
Water and dust proof (IP rating)
Tested / time in market
T40 has been selling in China since Dec 2021, and in Australia since Dec 2022. Predecessor the T30 selling in Australia since 2020 and known as a dependable spraying machine.
E.g. Available in Australia since Sep 2023. Wise to check the dependability and quality (track record) of any OEMs previous models with users.
Experience with spray drones / First mover
DJI Agras MG-1 came out in 2015
E.g. First model came out 2017
Commitment to Australia and local distribution
DJI Australia Service Centre in Keysborough VIC , and extensive DJI Dealer network
E.g. No OEM service centre in Australia. One independent organisation tasked with all sales and support.
company size and market share
Estimated more than 85% market share of global drone market. DJI currently employs over 14,000 employees. 25% of DJI's employees are research and development-based, a testament to the company's focus on innovation.
E.g. Less than 1000 staff, likely less than 8% market share of global drone market
Company depth and breadth of offerings
Enormous depth an breadth of resources as evidenced in their long product list and time line, controller development, RTK system, Ocusync transmission technology, camera / mapping drones such as the M3M , and map making software's Terra and Smart Farm.
E.g. Limited models made, no reputable camera / mapping drone or user software.
The T40 is a dependable spraying machine created by an unapparelled R and D team. This team has evidently focussed their attention on the entire workflow in order to maximise hectares sprayable per year, and for the most years (longevity). If the T40 is lower cost than the example model, this would further compound the already overwhelming proposition for the T40.
In this example comparison, the long list of factors above are highly relevant and important considerations when purchasing an asset/machine for your property or contracting business. The extra 10L liquid capacity is an isolated advantage and one that can easily lead to anchoring bias.