Fargo-based startup Botlink, LLC and AgEagle Aerial Systems, Inc. announced today that all AgEagle aircraft will now include the Botlink drone operations platform. The move will bring Botlink’s real-time safety and data technology to AgEagle’s farm-focused flying wing aircraft.

“Paired with the real-time connectivity of Botlink’s cellular device, AgEagle users now have an airframe that also solves the biggest pain point of drones – getting actionable data directly in the hands of users,” said Bret Chilcott, president and CEO of AgEagle.

The two companies made the announcement at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL show happening now in New Orleans. Botlink, which began with two military pilots in a basement thinking about how to create better drone flying capabilities, officially launched in 2014.

What Botlink does is connect drones to the internet so imagery can be captured, processed and delivered in real time. The platform also provides automated flight control and real-time situational awareness features.

AgEagle, based in Neodesha, Kansas, was founded in 2012 and has been selling their flying wing drone since 2013. They now sell to U.S., Australia, Canada and Brazil.

The combination of AgEagle and Botlink provides simple access to actionable data, the companies stated. Farmers and agronomists can use normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) imagery and high-resolution photography gathered with an AgEagle airframe to scout fields, assess crop damage and create prescription maps for variable-rate fertilizer, fungicide and herbicide applications.

“Getting crops in and out at the right time is one of the biggest factors in determining whether it will be a successful year, so getting access to actionable information quickly and conveniently is extremely important for farmers,” said Terri Zimmerman, CEO of Botlink. “With AgEagle, we are providing farmers and agronomists more and better data. This data enables farmers to use less water and chemicals while improving their output and bottom line.”

Learn more about the drone industry in North Dakota and beyond at Fargo’s annual Drone Focus Con 2016, on June 1, 2016. More here.

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Marisa Jackels