DJI Releases the Mavic 2 Enterprise – our report from DJI Airworks
November 7, 2018
by Nick Handley, FlyGuys Chief Pilot
Just back from the DJI AirWorks show in Dallas last week with lots of interesting news to unpack. Here’s a quick recap for drone industry watchers.
DJI had many announcements relevant to commercial drone use in enterprises, including the launch of the highly anticipated Mavic 2 Enterprise drone ($1,999). This version has the benefit of the Mavic line’s folding design, additional accessories like a flashlight and a speaker, and onboard password protected 24GB hard drive (if the drone is lost, the data is secure). The Mavic 2 Enterprise also features a 2X zoom, helpful for inspections or tight areas; 360-degree obstacle avoidance, good for beginners; self-heating batteries; and dual-band HD video transmission.
For companies interested in taking drone services in-house, the Mavic 2 Enterprise is a good investment, since its features seem ideal for drone operators new to commercial inspection piloting.
For example, the Mavic line is a lighter drone with more agility – a feature new pilots can capitalize on when flight training – and its streamlined hardware makes for cheaper repair costs in the event of a crash. DJI drone series’ like the Phantom, Inspire or M Series have stronger transmitters and more weight for greater stability in the air, but their features carry a learning curve and are expensive to replace when damaged. Though the Mavic 2 Enterprise’s lighter weight makes it more susceptible to wind and weather, its nimbleness and efficient hardware make it less intimidating to fly and easier to maintain.
The 12MP camera offers decent resolution but lower than needed for certain inspection applications, so the Enterprise will need to be used for missions that don’t require high-definition imaging. FlyGuys will typically specify a different DJI model for commercial aerial data collection because of this. However, the Enterprise is a solid drone for many enterprise workloads and will no doubt gain industrial features over time.
Among the many other DJI announcements, these were also of special interest:
Suite of SDK products. This is going to blow the doors open to automate drone actions for all kinds of use cases. These included a mobile SDK, user interface SDK, onboard computer SDK, payload SDK, and Microsoft Windows SDK.
Onboard SDK computer. The Manifold 2 fits on the drone and allows for sophisticated flight actions and image processing in real time. The edge computing possibilities are really fantastic. For example, a demo of real-time analytics from a drone flying over a solar farm was shown, with the onboard computer spotting anomalies, marking them, and feeding them into a digital model which triggered a work order. The Manifold 2 will leverage ever more IoT and AI capabilities to speed daily maintenance and inspection workloads with drones.
New flight simulator. With the new flight simulator, pilots can fly any of the drones in DJI’s product line in simulated real-world environments like city streets, forests, etc. You can also run specific mission types such as inspections. The example demonstrated was a transmission tower inspection. This will be a great way to train pilots on job specifics and will help both independent pilots and in-house drone operators grow their skills and capabilities.
DJI is great at seizing the moment and it’s always a blast watching the drone industry develop. The time to start drone operations is yesterday so if you’re on the fence, give the Mavic 2 Enterprise a whirl. The cost is easily supportable for test projects.
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