In Las Vegas this morning, the AirWorks 2022 keynote speaker Grant Hosticka discussed what’s next for the world’s biggest drone manufacturer. DJI “Future of Possible” is focused on the next big steps for the commercial drone industry – automation and flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) with DJI’s newest product, the DJI Dock. Here’s what Hosticka told the audience they could expect from future developments.
DJI’s Enterprise Product Line
Grant Hosticka, DJI’s Head of Solution Engineering North America, spoke about DJI’s history in the industry. Started in 2006, DJI started out providing parts for recreational aircraft. The iconic Phantom was the company’s first ready to fly drone – and inspired both commercial and recreational users to start asking “what if…?” questions and drive improvements to the platform.
Now, as DJI prepares to open a stunning new headquarters which they call “Sky City” in Shenzhen, Hosticka says the company continues to develop new capabilities – and to expand their ecosystem through SDK programs.
“At DJI, 35% of our workforce is engaged in R&D,” says Hosticka. “We’re waving goodbye to the Phantom with the Mavic 3 Enterprise, the Matrice 30, and the Matrice 300 RTK. These provide small, medium, and large options for a variety of use cases and budgets.”
Software offerings include FlightHub, DJI’s cloud-based operations platform; Terra mapping software; pilot 2; and DJI’s Thermal Analysis Tool.
Developing the ecosystem
DJI offers the Mobile SDK for enterprise drones which allows the industry ecosystem to develop for new use cases and specific applications. The Payload SDK provides capabilities for ecosystem partners to integrate payloads: the Payload SDK is available on the larger enterprise drones now and will soon be available on the Mavic 3 Enterprise series.
DJI’s Cloud API gives access to data: to live video and more for third party developers to help provide easy to use, vertical specific solutions. The Cloud API is also integrated into the DJI Dock – the new drone-in-a-box automated solution.
Now, DJI will provide a 3rd Party Solution Library, which will help end users to find the right provider for their specific needs. “Overall, there are a 100,000 registered developers within the ecosystem,” says Hosticka.
Automation, with DJI Dock
The DJI Dock is the manufacturer’s first solution for fully remote drone automation. The Dock – currently demonstrated with an M30 drone – contains a security camera, weather station, RTK for precision landing, and A/C for heating and cooling. With the DJI Dock, users can perform waypoint flights on demand, maintain the drone and recharge the batteries – all from a remote operations center. It’s a solution ideal for remote inspections, surveillance applications, and monitoring applications.
AirWorks 2022 is the first public outing for the Dock, although its been used by major industries like BNSF Railways have been testing the Dock in the field. The Dock will be available Q2 2023 : the next developments planned for the DJI Dock are manual flight control capabilities, and payload SDK support.
“Enabling our cloud API systems will allow customization and 3rd party integration,” says Hosticka. “We’re excited to see what you can accomplish in the future with our newest innovations.”
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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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