It’s scary in an exciting sort of way to see how ruthlessly DJI is outpacing its competitors. Brands like GoPro, 3DRobotics, and Autel have been left struggling to catch up to the Chinese drone maker, often touted as the Apple of Drones.
The recently released Matrice 200 is a perfect example of DJI expansion into new and diverse industries. While many drone makers are focused on low-cost hobbyist drones, DJI has taken over the market with its premium and exquisitely designed drones made for every kind of user.
Whether you are looking for a consumer drone, a professional photography drone or a data acquisition UAV, DJI sells one that will probably meet your needs. Their ability to rapidly create products to fit different applications is one of the big reasons they will likely remain at the top for the foreseeable future.
The DJI Matrice 200 is designed from the ground up as an enterprise survey drone, and DJI has been aggressively marketing it as such. They have been trying to entice companies in many fields to give it a try.
This drone is not cheap – the Matrice 200 price is expected to be double that of the $4,999 Matrice 600 Pro – but it packs more features, more payload and more industrial application capabilities than any other DJI drone.
For example, the Matrice 200 has three obstacle avoidance sensor systems, it can carry two cameras, it can carry an upward facing camera, and it is weather and magnetic resistant.
Simply put, this machine is an outdoor all-weather workhorse and a well-built one at that. It’s designed mostly for enterprise clients as a one-in-all inspection tool.
I wouldn’t suggest this one for most photography or filming tasks, either, unless you need the big payload. Its features are designed specifically for industrial applications. For most photography/video needs, I’d use an alternative like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro or DJI Inspire.
Whatever your need, the Matrice 200 is up to the task. Both inside and out, the drone comes with a rugged and highly functional design that allows it to adapt to different kinds of environments. Here are the main design highlights:
- Extra-long 17-inch propellers for stability even in strong winds.
- 38 minutes maximum flying time.
- Element protection.
- Self-heating batteries for sustained functionality in sub-zero temperatures.
Whatever weather and whichever location, the DJI Matrice 200 is engineered to perform.
The Matrice 200 has two intelligent flight modes.
The first, ACTIVETRACK, is designed to work with moving subjects. It keeps them in the frame, ensuring that you can capture accurate details and images. This mode is ideal for rescue situations where you may need to keep track of someone in distress while help arrives.
The second, POINT OF INTEREST, puts the drone on a circular flying path around a specific subject such as a wind turbine or an oil rig. This allows the user to capture a wide level detailing of the subject and perform a comprehensive analysis.
One of the best features of the DJI Matrice 200 is its centimeter-level precision flying. It can hover extremely close to the subject, allowing you to capture highly accurate details. This is especially crucial for infrastructure inspections.
This level of precision is enabled by the vision and infrared sensors located at the front, upper and bottom parts of the drone. The forward facing vision cameras are important for safe navigation especially around infrastructure and treacherous landscapes.
Another safety feature is DJI AIRSENSE. It makes use of a built-in ADS-B receiver to keep track of any manned aircraft in the area. You will be automatically alerted in case your drone strays too close to one.
Lightbridge Video Transmission
DJI uses their latest Lightbridge transmission technology to provide a two-way communication system between the user on the ground and the drone in the air.
You can transmit control instructions with minimal latency (delay), ensuring a smooth operation. The drone can also transmit a live video feed to you, giving you a great first person view (FPV) experience.
With Lightbridge you can even transmit the video feed to several other computers or smartphones. This is ideal for a team operation.
The DJI Matrice 200 has a 5lb (approximately 2.3kg) maximum payload capacity. This is great for companies that need to lift heavy inspection sensors or multiple sensor setups. The payload installation options are almost unlimited:
- You can mount the traditional single downward gimbal.
- You can mount two downward gimbals for more comprehensive imaging. This comes in handy if you need to use two imaging equipment such as a normal camera and an IR camera.
- You can mount an upward gimbal. This provides a better vantage point for certain imaging situations such as under bridges and wind turbines.
- Depending on your needs, you can replace the cameras with third party sensors such as an airspeed sensor, a temperature sensor, a LiDAR sensor or an accelerometer.
Outdoor Industrial Applications
With its rugged design and the wide variety of payload options, the Matrice 200 is quite versatile when it comes to applications.
It can be used in infrastructure maintenance, search and rescue, firefighting, offshore rig inspections and site mapping. It is also one of the best UAVs for agriculture thanks to its imaging power and versatility.
You can see more applications on the official DJI website.
Onboard and Mobile SDI
As with many other professional drones, DJI has included both an onboard and mobile SDK (software development kit) for companies that want to get customized functionality from the drone.
The onboard kit allows you to connect third party sensors while the mobile kit can be used to develop custom applications for imaging and analysis.
- Maximum payload: 5lbs
- Video Transmission: 2.4GHz Lightbridge
- Maximum flight time: 38 minutes
- Range: 7km
- Maximum ascent speed: 16.4 feet/seconds
- Maximum descent speed: 9.8 feet/seconds
- Removable propellers for easier portability.
Features we like
- Long flight time.
- Versatility in payload and applications.
- Live HD video streaming.
- Plenty of safety features.
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