I-weed spraying!

Yamaha Motor Australia is bringing cutting edge unmanned aircraft technology to Australia to combat noxious weeds.

Originally developed to dust rust paddies in built up farm areas in Japan’s unique rural urban landscape, the RMAX unmanned helicopter is set to draw attention.

With a total length of 3.5 metres, and spotting a 2 stoke engine, the aircraft heralds a potential new management tool for the future of weed control.

Mike Johnson from Yamaha Australia said guided by an on-ground pilot and spotter, the aircraft hovers at an altitude of 4 metres, travelling at 20 km/h.

“The RMAX is then able to deliver its 16 litre chemical payload to the plants, with high accuracy and minimal spray drift.”

Yamaha is undertaking various demonstrations of the technology in Victoria to scout for potential contractors who are interested in the technology.

The Victorian Blackberry Taskforce (VBT), a community and government initiative tackling the invasive blackberry species across Victoria, has been working with Yamaha to showcase the new technology.

Michael Reid, VBT Executive Officer said blackberry infestations can be in inaccessible country, and getting in close to apply herbicide can be problematic for landholders.

“There has been strong interest from our blackberry community action groups across Victoria to see the technology in action.”

The Yamaha Motor Australia will be showcasing the Yamaha RMAX unmanned helicopter at two field days on December 6 at Flowerdale, and on December 7 at Corryong.

For futher inforamtion, please contact Michael Reid, Department of Primary Industries on 0400 0853251 or Michael.reid@dpi.vic.gov.au