DJI Unveils the ‘Manifold,’ An Embedded UAV Computer


DJI has launched the Manifold, a high-performance embedded computer designed to cut processing time and optimize real-time data analysis for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The Manifold, which includes USB, Ethernet, HDMI and a variety of others ports, is compatible with third-party sensors and enables developers to connect a wide variety of devices, such as infrared cameras, atmospheric research devices and geographical surveying equipment, to DJI’s Matrice 100 UAV.

As the Manifold computer both collects and analyzes data in the air, it provides an efficient solution for developers in need of time-sensitive information, DJI explains.

“With the Manifold, we are entering a new era of smarter, faster and more powerful aerial platforms,” says Michael Perry, DJI’s director of strategic partnerships. “Manifold opens up for aerial and ground technology to intelligently work together to solve complex problems. We are excited to see what applications our developer community will come up with for this new platform.”

Designed for DJI’s OnBoard SDK (software development kit), Manifold runs on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system and supports CUDA, OpenCV and ROS. With a Quad-core ARM Cortex A-15 processor and an NVIDIA Kepler-based GPU, the Manifold provides powerful image processing and efficient parallel computing, says DJI.

“We are excited to be working with DJI, who like us, believes in pushing technology beyond the limits of possibilities and paving the way for creators, makers and developers,” comments Mark Murphy, Canonical’s vice president of devices sales and global alliances.

Ubuntu 14.04, the long-term support version providing support and maintenance for five years, will be available on the Manifold. This release comes with support for both multi-touch devices and HiDPI screens.

The Manifold with Ubuntu 14.04 will be available globally for purchase from DJI’s online store for $499 as of Nov. 2 and will start shipping on Nov. 15.

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