Designed for industrial excursions, DJI’s Mavic 200 expands the company’s focus
posted Monday, February 27, 2017 at 3:00 PM EDT
To this point, DJI's products have pretty much been marketed and purchased by the general consumer audience as well as professional creators, though DJI is well aware that drones could be useful in other applications besides entertainment. Real estate developers, engineers and surveyors have also used DJI products for their work, though typically the Phantom 4 or similar lower-end consumer drones. Knowing that this area, as well as a host of other enterprises in the industrial space, have need for an aerial view, DJI announced their latest: the Matrice 200 (M200). This drone was designed for the tough jobs, like search and rescue, wind turbine/solar panel/telecom/offshore rig inspection, firefighting, and construction site mapping.
The M200 is not a drone to be babied; this is the Ford F-150 of drones.
The M200 series drone has a folding design that makes it easier to transport and carry, with both a weather- and water-resistent body that allows it to handle the rigors of field operation. Different from the drones you're probably used to seeing, the M200 offers DJI's first ever upward-facing gimbal mount, making it ideal for looking at the underside of bridges, towers and other structures with hard-to-see nooks and crannies. It is compatible with DJI’s X4S and X5S cameras, as well as the high-powered Z30 zoom camera and the XT camera for thermal imaging. It has a forward-facing first-person view camera, allowing a pilot and a camera operator to monitor separate images on dual controllers. Its safety features include obstacle avoidance sensors facing forward, up and down, as well as an ADS-B receiver for advisory traffic information from nearby manned aircraft. With a dual battery set-up, the M200 platform can fly for up to 35 minutes with a mounted camera.
DJI is marketing the M200 directly at the most challenging of industrial applications, as mentioned. This is their exact wording for the product's best use cases:
- Critical Infrastructure Inspections – work near power lines, telecommunications towers and bridges puts inspectors at risk of falls and electric shock. DJI’s M200 improves safety as work can be done from a distance. The M200 can identify millimeter-sized faults in buildings, roads and bridges in real time, making those operations more safe, efficient and effective.
- Energy Facility Inspections – maintenance planning can be costly and time-consuming. With the stable and weather-resistant M200 platform, extensive power line networks can be visualized with unparalleled detail and vertical infrastructure, such as wind turbines and offshore oil rigs, can be inspected from all angles.
- Construction Site Mapping – surveying and mapping often need to be conducted regardless of weather conditions and other external factors. The M200 is a rugged platform designed to handle tough conditions. The M200 gives construction site managers an efficient tool to review progress and workflow, ensuring more efficient use of resources.
- Public Safety – when time is of essence and weather conditions turn foul, first responders require a versatile and reliable aerial platform. Carrying visual and/or thermal sensors, the M200 provides situational awareness of potentially dangerous situations such as fires, searches and natural disasters. Incident commanders can use data collected by the M200 to make smarter and better decisions, protecting life and property while minimizing the safety risk to rescue personnel.
DJI says that had been hearing for some time that the enterprise space was clamoring for a drone of more substance. The M200 appears to be exactly what they are asking for, with a tougher build and unique feature sets that appeal to industrial applications. The M200, the M210 and the M210 RTK (three different build options which you can read more about here) are available for pre-order from DJI enterprise dealers and will start shipping in Q2 2017, for a price that is TBA.
(Seen via Wired)