Drone technology has come a long way, but for all its growth, the industry has traditionally failed at addressing the long-standing issue of durability. While the pint-sized autonomous cameras are required to be light in frame and weight, granting them the miracle of flight, it’s a double-edged sword. The downside of the small design is that even the most robust of drones generally crumble after a crash, bird strike or worse still, a heavy downpour, however, perennial drone favourite DJI is attempting to combat the issue with its latest release. According to the technology company, the new DJI Matrice 30 Enterprise drone is capable of shooting 8K photos and thermal video in extreme conditions, including gale-force wind and sub-zero temperatures.
The latest flagship release takes DJI’s already impressive technology to new heights, in every sense of the word. The spec-sheet reveals that the Matrice 30 Enterprise can fly up to heights of 7,000 metres, significantly higher than previous iterations. Further still, a robust redesign has enhanced the drone’s durability under extreme pressure, with DJI confirming that it still be operational in weather conditions between -20 and 50 celsius.
The Matrice 30 (M30) does come loaded with a 200x hybrid zoom camera for detailed shots, alongside a serious impressive thermal camera that unearths heat sources. Throw in the wide camera that is adept at capturing 8k photos and 4K video at 30 frames-per-second, low-light FPV camera and a laser rangefinder, and you’ve got a pretty handy addition to the arsenal. Where it does get interesting, however, is the DJI Dock. According to the brand, the new Dock has its own built-in weather station, antennas and surveillance cameras, however, it must be used in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
“We are proud to deliver the next generation of aerial tools that will save lives and bring work to new heights, with a 360-degree product solution suite for a variety of fields such as energy inspection, emergency rescue missions, environmental protection, and the digitization and preservation of cultural heritage,” Christina Zhang, senior director of corporate strategy at DJI said in a statement.
Despite DJI’s new focus on resilience, the Matrice 30 maintains a similar level of portability to its predecessor. Small enough to fit in a large backpack, the 8.2-pound drone isn’t quite as compact as the Mavic, however, it does feature self-locking arms that can be folded with the push of a button. Similarly, DJI has cut some flying time to facilitate the bulkier frame, down to just 41- minutes flight time means the M30 doesn’t have quite the endurance of DJI’s longest-lasting drones, but it does have the benefit of completely autonomous missions, something DJI has been quietly working on for some time.
The DJI M30 and M30T (Thermal) are available now, priced from USD$9,999 and USD$13,999 respectively. You can check out the video above for a comprehensive look at the new drone.
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