AeroVironment Inc (NASDAQ:AVAV) is helping farmers grow healthier crops and increase yields by using robotics and artificial intelligence to change the landscape of precision agriculture, according to a report by ROBO Global.
Simi Valley, California-based AeroVironment has a long history of innovation as a provider of unmanned aircraft vehicles for the defense industry. The company is best known for its Ravens and Pumas — its small, unmanned robotics systems it is now working in precision agriculture.
“The recent availability of its Quantix VTOL hybrid drone and the AeroVironment Decision Support System marks a key shift for the application of robotics and AI in the area of precision agriculture,” wrote ROBO Global senior research analyst Lisa Chai in a report. ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.
The Quantix VTOL drone is the most advanced system of its kind available to support precision agriculture.
Analysts expect the global drone market in the agriculture sector to reach $790 million by 2024, from $240 million in 2019.
The analyst noted that AeroVironment could capture “a significant portion of that market” by offering powerful drone technologies that are both simple to use and affordable.
“The new drone offers an advanced data analytics ecosystem that captures field data quickly, and then quantifies that data into actionable intelligence in a format that farmers can decipher and act on immediately,” wrote Chai.
AeroVironment has been a constant ROBO Global index member since 2013 and has delivered a 26% annualized return, up 267% from August 1, 2013 through March 6, 2019.
“As a pureplay company focused on the development and manufacturing of data-analytics-driven unmanned drones, we agree that AeroVironment is heading for the skies, and we think momentum will continue,” wrote Chai.
The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) was up 1.4% to $40.34 in afternoon trade Wednesday.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]