So far at CES 2017, DJI has made several drone-related announcements: The company is rolling out a new aerial mapping app and a limited edition Phantom 4 drone and is teaming up with storage solutions provider Seagate Technology. In addition, DJI is showcasing a prototype of its new CrystalSky monitor at the big technology show in Las Vegas.
“We’re very excited to be here and give CES attendees a glimpse into the future of aerial and imaging technology,” said Paul Pan, DJI’s lead engineer.
The Ground Station Pro (or GS Pro) is an iPad app designed for operators to augment autonomous flights for DJI aircraft. The company says it designed GS Pro to improve workflow and dramatically increase efficiency in a wide range of applications: e.g., mapping, architecture, precision agriculture and electrical inspections.
The 3D map area function allows the aircraft to generate efficient flight paths after the operator has set a required flight zone and camera parameters. The drone will then follow this route throughout its mission. The image data captured during these flights can be input into 3D reconstruction software to generate 3D maps, and the mission itself can be saved for later.
Another feature allows for up to 99 waypoints per mission; in addition, each waypoint can have up to 15 consecutive actions, including aircraft rotation, gimbal pitch, start/stop record, photo capture and hover. DJI notes that a virtual fence increases safety and ease of use by locking the aircraft’s height and speed within a designated area. As the aircraft approaches the virtual fence, it will brake and hover to ensure it stays within the flight area.
Compatible with most DJI aerial platforms and Zenmuse cameras, the GS Pro iPad app is free for download at the App Store.In celebration of Chinese New Year, DJI invited illustrator and designer Martin Sati to customize the Phantom 4 drone. Sati’s design features the phoenix as the centerpiece – a symbol of good fortune and happiness in Chinese mythology. He also drew inspiration from the four basic elements of nature – air, fire, water and earth – and reflected each of these elements in his design, says DJI.
The Phantom 4 Chinese New Year Edition’s U.S. retail price is $1,199. The aircraft will be sold exclusively at Apple Stores, DJI flagship stores (except Korea), DJI’s online store and the Tmall DJI Store. The product will start shipping starting Jan. 23.
Although pricing and availability of the CrystalSky monitor will be announced at a later date, the technology is created for outdoor aerial imaging. According to DJI, the CrystalSky monitor, designed to work with the DJI GO app, features an ultra-bright screen that is clearly visible in sunlight and is more than four times as bright as typical mobile devices.
The CrystalSky monitor’s HDMI port allows up to 4K video to be output to FPV goggles and other display devices. The monitor’s storage can be extended, or footage recorded on a micro SD card can be played back directly on the monitor. It can also be used for footage backups.
A two-cell 4920 mAh external battery gives the CrystalSky monitor a longer operating time than comparable mobile devices, notes DJI. In addition, it can operate in temperatures as low as –4 degrees F and as high as 104 degrees F.
The CrystalSky monitor will come in two sizes (7.85-inch and 5.5-inch screens) and can achieve a maximum operation time of 4-5 hours and 5-6 hours, respectively.Under DJI’s new strategic partnership with Seagate, the companies are aiming to “solve the data demands” of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) users.
DJI and Seagate say they are focusing their efforts to securely and efficiently store, manage, download and share the hundreds of gigabytes of data that can be generated from a single drone mission.
“Seagate is honored to partner with DJI to help UAV users tackle their evolving and unique data needs,” comments Tim Bucher, senior vice president of Seagate consumer solutions. “Seagate is committed to working together with DJI to evolve UAV workflows so users can focus on what matters most – capturing data in flight to bring new and amazing experiences to the world.”
The companies intend to announce their first product collaboration later this year.