The company developed a new system called Guidance. This obstacle avoidance system has been integrated with the Matrice 100 quadcopter. Together, problems like broken rotor blades on drones from crashing into things are eliminated.
In trying to beat out the competition, many drone makers have been working hard to come up with an obstacle avoidance system so the fact that DJI has been successful places this company in a really good place. Just last year, more than $1 million was raised for the AirDog drone but because the obstacle avoidance system needed refinement, shipments of the drone were delayed.
Over the years, there have been a number of exciting technological advances specific to drones. As an example, this past February $1 million was won in in a competition by Swiss technologies for a quadcopter capable of flying within a protective spinning cage while traveling through confined spaces safely. Now, obstacle detecting sonar systems are being developed that can be retrofitted to some of the most popular drones available in order to improve flight safety.
However, when it comes to collision avoidance systems for drones that are commercial available, DJI is the leader of the pack. The new system depends on different ultrasonic sensors, along with stereo cameras as a means of determining when a drone comes too close to objects. The actual range can be configured to extend beyond 65 feet.
Guidance boasts a programmable hardware attachment that mounts to virtually any robotic system with both UART and USB connection ports. In proving how well the technology works, DJI mentions a project at Fudan University in Shanghai China. For this project, Guidance was combined with Intel processors to identify cars below that were parked illegally.
Researchers overseeing this particular project believe that tough parking jobs carried out by city workers will become easier and more efficient. To help, drones will fly above different areas while avoiding trees, light poles, and other obstacles. If a car is identified, a photograph of the license plate is taken by the drone and then via signal, submitted to a centralized database.
Guidance is just one part of a much bigger announcement by DJI covering the new Matrice 100 quadcopter. Prior drone models were designed for very specific users but this one is actually made for developers. In other words, this drone is like a blank slate on which researchers have the opportunity to create unique designs and bring them to fruition.
The Matrice 100 drone is ready to fly the minute it is taken out of the box. Key features of this drone include an incredible 40 minutes of non-stop flight time, power supply leads, a number of communication ports, and expansion bays for additional components. That way, if a researcher wants to fix more hardware, it can be done in an affordable manner.
As stated by Frank Wang, CEO of DJI, both researchers and developers are extremely excited about Guidance and Matrice 100. After all, this drone can be used for multiple applications such as search and rescue, agricultural, inspections, and more.