Drone-powerhouse DJI just took aim at dominating the commercial drone market with the launch of its new Matrice 200 (M200) drone at the World Mobile Conference in Barcelona, Spain. The new drone offers a few firsts for DJI and has a lot of customization options which makes it a versatile choice to tackle a wide range of commercial applications.
New features include a dual forward-facing gimble set up. This allows the operator to attached both a HD video camera and a sensor apparatus like a FLIR thermal camera (or whatever combo you want!). The drone also has an upward facing gimble that is placed on the top of the drone—also a first. This gimble is a much needed addition that will make activities like bridge inspection (where you fly under the bridge!) much easier and safer.
But the new feature the team a Drone Dossier is most interested in is the claim this new drone will be “weather resistant”. This is a key issue when talking about commercial application of drones because if you are outside you are going to run into inclement weather. A drone’s ability to perform well in these conditions will be key in making them a viable option for large scale operations. We will have to see how “weather resistant” the drone is once it hits the market.
The M200 also boasts robust sense and avoid ability. It comes standard with sensors, located to either side of its built-in flying camera, which helps the drone with obstacle avoidance by rending objects in 3D. The M200 also has a built-in ADS-B receiver which will alert the drone and pilot if there is another aircraft nearby.
This new drone is not the first drone aimed at more commercial applications that DJI has built. The larger M600 (6-rotor) drone has been out for a while. But the new M200 has the new features mentioned above and only has a 4-rotor power system. Given the powerful software tools available for DJI drones, the M200 is shaping up to be a versatile and able drone that can tackle many of the commercial uses of drones that are starting to take off nationwide (power line inspection, bridge inspection, search & rescue, etc). The M200 is expected to hit the markets sometime in the second quarter of 2017.