Pushing Boundaries - Aiding Humanity – Continually Innovating
Words & Images: Peter Gray/DJI/UKDS Archive
We could write a whole issue just about DJI and their past, present and future product lines. They are undoubtedly the catalyst for many amateur and professional drone pilots globally and the name Phantom has been synonymous with their most successful bloodline to date. But who are they? How do they view both themselves and the rest of the industry? And what's the future for DJI and the Drone Industry? We got a chance to ask them recently in an online interview...
UKDSM: It's great to have you on board as one of the Show's main sponsor in 2016, can you tell us why UKDS is such an important part of your 2016 promotional calendar?
DJI: “The UK Drone Show is the perfect occasion to get visitors to know and experience our brand, and see our leading products such as the DJI Phantom and Inspire series in action. It is also a great opportunity for DJI to raise awareness on safety, which is something of uttermost importance for us. During the Drone Safety Awareness Weekend we will introduce innovative tools DJI has pioneered, such as the Geofencing system...”
UKDSM: How many people started DJI initially? And how many do DJI now employ, and in how many different countries?
DJI: “The company was founded and is run by people with a passion for remote-controlled helicopters and experts in flight-control technology and camera stabilization. We started with about 20 people. DJI now employees more than 5,000 colleagues globally with offices in China, Japan, Korea, Europe and in the Americas...”
UKDSM: In Europe we recently saw the use of the DJI Inspire One in Switzerland helping in the search for a missing American Skier. What other humanitarian applications have your products been involved with over the last year?
DJI: “DJI continues to be involved in humanitarian efforts around the world. Our drones are used for several applications: from firefighting to search and rescue, in areas affected by earthquakes and floods. More recently, we have also helped spearhead an important scientific research on whales’ snots in order to study their health and that of the marine environment. It is a huge step forward for the preservation of our planet...”
UKDSM: What is the biggest technological leap in DJI drone technology of the last 18 months? What made it so important?
DJI: “The biggest technological leap in DJI drone technology was the computer vision we introduced together with the Phantom 4. Philosopher Immanuel Kant said “All of our knowledge begins with the senses.” The DJI Phantom 4 is powered by four different sensors and equipped with the most advanced artificial intelligence technology so far. Obstacle Avoidance, Tap Fly and Active Track do not only make the aircraft safer than ever before, but also allow automated flights to capture breath-taking images...”
UKDSM: The Phantom range has always been seen as leading the way, both in terms of their ease of use and the amazing results they produce. Do you still see yourselves in this market-leading position, or is competition hotting up within the industry?
DJI: “Since the very first generation, the DJI Phantom pushed the boundaries of what we think was possible. Every time we innovate, it becomes the standard. That's not an overnight success. Our Research & Development department, which is more than 1,500 employees strong, continuously works to stay ahead and to keep innovating. We are not only a manufacturer of multicopters, we are also content creators, storytellers and most importantly, we strive to keep flying safe. Behind the curtain we educate and collaborate a lot with officials and regulators to showcase the great potential of this technology...”
UKDSM: Mainstream, high street drone retailers are often criticised as lacking the expertise and product knowledge of say a hobby store. What is your view on this, and what can be done to rectify this?
DJI: “We are obsessed with quality and technology and we want our products and our customer service to be the best, too. Our teams and partners are carefully selected and trained. Our goal always has been and always will be to not just to sell but to educate customers, and help them with their questions and enquiries. We work very closely with our partners, their staff, especially during events and trade shows, so we are sure to communicate openly and professionally with our customers...”
UKDSM: Can you tell us in simple terms what the fourth generation Phantom product offers its end users above and beyond its predecessors?
DJI: “We redefined every aspect of the DJI Phantom generation. You already know about the Computer Vision – additional features are Tap Fly, Obstacle Avoidance and Active Track. The props are now equipped with a new quick release system to get the Phantom 4 ready to fly even faster. The battery is stronger and allows a flight time of up to 28 minutes. The lens and the gimbal are re-engineered in order to get better and more stable images. The new Sport Mode enables you to go up to up to 45mph: It is faster, more agile, it is exciting and fun to fly with it...”
UKDSM: If you could change one thing about buying and owning a multi rotor filming platform, what would that be?
DJI: “At DJI we continue to push boundaries and keep innovating. We believe our customers will love DJI’s current line-up and we hope they will be happy to see what DJI can deliver today and tomorrow. Watch this space!”
UKDSM: What's the next evolutionary step for the drone industry? Heavy Lift and Commercial Delivery platforms? Or do you feel we are still a way off that becoming a reality?
DJI: “With the DJI M600 we recently introduced the most advanced and easy to use heavy-lift platform on the market. A key aspect of this platform are the redundancies. A triple redundant flight controller, the intelligent Power Management and even a redundant propulsion architecture in order to deliver maximum reliability and security. Together with our open SDK structure, it is the perfect aerial platform for industrial applications or commercial cases. If it’s something for a commercial delivery platform we cannot tell you, because it is a door we barely opened and we cannot wait to see what is coming next. The potential is truly unlimited...”
Read the full article in the free to download 150 page #UKDroneshow Magazine issue 2, simply click HERE