DJI announced two new products, the Matrice 100 quadcopter, and Guidance. The Matrice 100 is a barebones quadcopter, it does not come equipped with a camera, instead it merely has a flight controller and the ability to fly for 40 minutes on two onboard batteries. It is designed to be integrated with any items you’d wish to put on the UAS, cameras, sensors, computers, you name it. More importantly the Matrice 100 has an open SDK. This allows developers to go to town and program the UAS to their needs. Additionally DJI has announced that the will open their SDK for the Inspire 1 and Phantom 3, further allowing customization and innovation of their UAS. DJI created this quadcopter specifically for the developing community. They want developers to get their hands on the M100 and create software and hardware for UAS, spurring innovation.
It is a nice move by DJI, especially when their last two UAS were all in one solutions that do not accept third party add ons. DJI was heading down a path of exclusivity, a bit like Apple. But now it seems that they are interested in seeing how others can implement their technology and not just how their engineers can. It’s a fantastic move for the industry and the customer as this move will boost creativity, competition, and choice.
On top of that DJI announced Guidance, essentially a 360ª camera rig that motion detects objects in the flightpath and course-corrects to avoid them. Guidance is a standalone product that would seem incredibly useful for indoor flight. It also has an open SDK giving developers another tool from DJI to innovate.
None of these tools are especially unique, but this allows companies, researchers, and individuals to quickly build a system without having to build the quadcopter or heavily modify an ready-to-fly model. DJI understands that there is a market of people who want to develop hardware or software for UAS but don’t necessarily want or have the means to build their own UAS. The Matrice 100 fills that role off the shelf, and the DJI’s open SDKs and Guidance will help customers innovate more quickly.