DJI reveals new sensors and the future of commercial drones at AirWorks 2020
DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, has revealed new sensor systems and data integrations for its professional drone platforms at the fifth annual AirWorks conference, as the global coronavirus pandemic spurs massive adoption of drone technology for tasks that must now be performed remotely.
In online AirWorks sessions, industry-leading DJI customers and partners including Shell, Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue and FLIR Systems illustrated how drone technology has enabled people and businesses to be more resilient during the COVID-19 era, helping them follow new requirements for social and physical distancing while addressing the growing need for critical services like contactless inspections that drones provide.
“COVID-19 has challenged drone innovators around the world to rapidly develop and scale new ways of working, and DJI is proud to showcase some of the best ideas demonstrating how the drone industry has responded to the pandemic and how we can chart a course to even more beneficial drone uses,” said Christina Zhang, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy and Communication at DJI. “This year’s virtual conference format for AirWorks allows more drone industry partners to attend sessions, exchange ideas, hear from experts and find new inspiration for how drone technology is changing everything about work.”
DJI executives detailed their vison for the future of DJI’s technology and how the commercial drone ecosystem can benefit from new technical achievements. DJI drones will become optimized for integration into leading geospatial information systems (GIS) and gain new sensors that enable the creation of precise digital twin assets that precisely represent the real world. Additionally, DJI’s drone software and developer tools are becoming more robust to support advanced flight operations and industry-specific applications. Included in these key improvements are new partnerships and product features:
- Drone-based LiDAR Sensors – DJI has been investing directly in lidar technology through its open innovation program that incubated Livox Technology Company. Livox’s new 498 grams lightweight Avia lidar sensor is compact, capable and able to be attached directly to the DJI Matrice 200 and Matrice 300 series drones to enable highly accurate 3D aerial mapping. It features long-distance detection range up to 460 meters, high-density point clouds and supports up to three returns. By bringing this affordable and scalable lidar solution to the skies, use cases will extend well beyond the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry and open new ways for public safety professionals, utility inspectors, and more to digitize their operations with the power of drone and lidar technology.
- GIS System Integration – As the leading provider of survey-grade drone hardware, DJI announced today that we have partnered with ESRI, the global leader in location intelligence, to provide advanced enterprise solutions to our shared user-base. Through a direct integration between DJI hardware and ESRI’s Site Scan for ArcGIS, we will be advancing joint-developments of highly integrated solutions for the AEC, urban planning, public safety, and energy industries.
- New Mission Management Platform – DJI’s FlightHub software will evolve from a fleet and pilot management tool into a comprehensive mission management platform centred around flight operations. With the new system, drones will deliver live data on top of an enhanced reality model for better coordination between field operators and command centres.
- New Developer Tools – With 20,000 active developers and more than 1,000 published apps compatible with DJI drones, DJI announced improvements to its software development kit (SDK) tools that will enable third-party developers to create industry-specific applications, providing more access to DJI’s resources, and exploring and testing new cooperation methods. DJI’s new UX SDK changes the way developers and enterprises interact with DJI’s software and gives them more control over their DJI drone fleet – enabling them to meet stringent security requirements and ship unique, integrated software that meets the most demanding enterprise requirements.
Throughout the conference, leading DJI partners and customers will highlight their unique approaches to integrating and innovating drone technology to help organizations save time and money and improve worker safety.
- FLIR Systems introduced the FLIR Vue® TZ20, the industry’s first dual-thermal payload for small UAS platforms. Developed on DJI’s Payload SDK, the Vue® TZ20 is compatible with the DJI Matrice 200 and Matrice 300 series drones and features a wide 95-degree, and narrow 18-degree field of view FLIR Boson® sensor, allowing drone pilots to better maintain full situational awareness while keeping focused on their objective.
- Shell Deer Park has become a DJI Solution Development Partner and showcased how DJI drones are used at the Shell Deer Park Manufacturing Complex for mission critical inspections of flare stacks, external floating roof tanks, and response to emergency operations.
- Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue demonstrated its leadership in the fire service community to keep emergency responders safe during hazardous materials incident response using DJI’s Matrice 300 drone technology.
AirWorks is the premier venue for exchanging ideas, learning about the latest developments in commercial drone technology, and steering the future development of the industry. It draws attendees from a diverse set of backgrounds who are using drones every day within the agriculture, construction, energy, infrastructure and public safety industries for engaging presentations, workshops, training sessions and networking opportunities. In addition to industry-specific sessions, attendees will hear from prominent leaders in the drone industry during lively panel discussions dedicated to current and future industry trends and drone regulations.