Iowa City agtech company Rantizo announced today that it has become the first company approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operation of the DJI Agras T-30 drone for agricultural applications.
The T-30 drone launched earlier in 2021, but could not be operated due to the FAA regulation only allowing the use of drones 55 pounds and under. With the exemptions received, Rantizo is the first and only company in the U.S. with the necessary approvals to operate the drone on a commercial scale.
“This new platform is more than just a larger drone,” said Rantizo Special Projects Manager Beau Brown in a release. “The DJI T-30 represents a three-generation jump in technological advancements in aerial drone sprayers, such as new avionics, obstacle avoidance and more intelligent field management. These tools, combined with Rantizo’s expertise and support, will ensure our contractors and pilots continue to be the most successful in the drone application industry.”
“We’ve been seeing demand for bigger drones since day one,” said Rantizo Marketing Manager Emily Carlson. “However, we are calculated in what products we offer within our system for drone applications and when we release them. Headed into the 2022 season, our approvals for use of the T-30 will be a game-changer for both Rantizo contractors and the growers they serve.”
To date, Rantizo’s system has been primarily focused around the 10 Liter DJI Agras MG-1P. The Iowa City-based startup added proprietary technology such as their Upgrade Kit and additional waivers for multi-drone swarming to optimize productivity in the field. The addition of a larger drone with more payload capacity, speed and use-case functionality will bring drone application viability across a larger spectrum into the 2022 season.
“As a company, we have developed a culture around product development that originates from what the customer wants,” said CEO Michael Ott. “In our case we have two customer segments to consider: our network of contractors who want the most productive drone application system available to provide services, and their farmer customers who want both precision and cost-effective options for in-field applications. Whether we tackle this with multiple drones, or larger drones, the result is a win-win for both and that’s always what we keep at the forefront. Our approvals for the T-30 are just the next step in the evolution of where drone applications are headed for ag.”
Rantizo received their initial approvals for single drone spraying operations from the FAA in July of 2019. At that time, the company became the first and only approved for drone spraying in the state of Iowa. In July of 2020, the company became the first approved for 3-drone swarming nationwide. Now, with approvals for operation of the T-30, the company just shy of four years old, continues a path of fast-paced innovation.
With the latest approvals, Rantizo now has the green light to offer the T-30 drone for sale. Rantizo plans to roll out the T-30 availability for purchase by December.