Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as aerial robots, are becoming increasingly important. This increase can mainly be attributed to their low cost, unlimited workspace, high efficiency and safety, making them attractive for many applications. In addition to military offensive applications, these robots are being used more and more for civil and commercial applications such as infrastructure inspections, air sensors of, for example, smoke gas clouds, active fire fighting, medicine delivery or AED air robots.

Research question

Is it possible to develop a versatile, robust air robot with human interface and docking station technology that allows a stretcher air robot to operate semi-autonomously?

Machinefabriek Boessenkool is the inventor of the first electric tractor, which is clearly lightweight and has very small wheel footprints. This led to a significant reduction in soil packaging, and thus more effective agriculture. Although this innovation has led to better automated farming processes, these tractors are not fully autonomous (still manned).

project approach

Machinefabriek Boessenkool is currently developing the first high payload aerial robot platform. This air robot can lift 150 kg allowing for fire fighting, flying carrier as ambulance applications or agricultural applications; in short, large and heavy objects. When it can autonomously land, fill liquid, charge electrically and take off again, it is possible to carry out precision farming 24/7.

Research outcome

Autonomy is an important new technology that allows drones to become real aerial robots. The project goal is therefore to develop a docking station and the associated autonomy to enable precision agriculture. Other applications of the technology from drone and docking station to an autonomous air robot can include:

  • Autonomous monitoring of terrain;
  • Extinguish fires; 
  • Transporting cargo;
  • Act as a taxi for people.

Duration project

Start project: 01-11-2017 - End project: 31-10-2019




Hogeschool in Enschede, Deventer en Apeldoorn


Space 53

Logo Boessenkool.png


Gemeente Enschede

Gemeente Enschede


Tech for Future


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