DJI released new software and two industrial-class drones at its AirWorks user conference in Denver this week, answering to the needs of the growing enterprise segment of the drone market. FlightHub, a web-based drone management application, allows for the monitoring of multiple drones during operations. The DJI Wind 4 and Wind 8 are the latest additions to DJI's line of commercial-use drones. The new airframes are foldable, portable (relatively), and made custom to order.
FlightHub responds to the increasing need for drone-specific fleet management software by providing a platform to manage live operations in the fields of inspection, construction, and disaster relief. Operation directors and teams will be able to view the real-time telemetry data of their entire fleet in one place and will have the ability to stream up to four simultaneous video streams.
The software also comes with flight logging features to help service providers analyze performance and remain in compliance with regulations. DJI made special note that all flight logging would be stored on a secure 'US-based' server. Users will also be able to replay entire flights, track maintenance, and manage teams by role and permissions.
The main feature of the Wind 4 and Wind 8 is the ability of customers to build a rig unique to their specifications and use case. The 4 and 8 naming convention denotes the amount of rotors with the Wind 4 having a max payload weight of 30 pounds and the Wind 8 having superior stability. Both frames will be compatible with the Zenmuse line of gimbal cameras.
In addition to DJI FlightHub, two announcements, of most interest to enterprise drone developers, were made. Making its SDK more robust, DJI added new tools, which include onboard vision system access. This latest feature will allow developers to tap into a drone’s visual recognition system, allowing them to develop unique autonomous UAV solutions. The DJI SDK has also seen a significant uptick in activations with a total of 2.7 million, which is up from 1 million last year and 150,000 in 2015.