The Real World With The M200 Series From DJI
A Recap Of The DJI Matrice 200 Series Road Show
After an 870+ mile round trip, including horrendous weather, I’m happy to finally be back at our shop. Last week, my team and I traveled up to Raleigh, NC to attend a training demonstration for DJI Enterprise Dealers and Distributors hosted by DJI, PrecisionHawk, and North Carolina State University. This exclusive event provided a select group with a demonstration of the new Matrice M200, M210 and M210 RTK systems, highlighting the incredible versatility and unmatched performance of the M200 Series.
DJI invited a small group of their enterprise dealers and distributors, encouraging us to extend invitations to our VIP clients. As the CEO of UAV Experts, I was excited to host several of our commercial and industrial clients. About 100 folks were in attendance, ranging from police and fire departments, emergency management agencies, wind power, agriculture, engineering firms and more. UAV Experts caters to all of these clients, so it was great to speak to the various representatives.
The event was at one of the NC State University’s Agriculture facilities, a great location, but the weather was tough. If you remember correctly there were very large storms last week with a frontal passage. The day of the event included clear skies with high clouds with winds at a steady 20 gusting to over 50 MPH at one point during the flying.
The first half of our day included presentations from DJI Global, PrecisionHawk, and NC State University. The attendees were given an in-depth look at the new series, and a live preview of the three new drones. We learned more about PrecisionHawk and the progression of the drone space. They also discussed projects they are currently working on, with aerial data collection application ranging from search and rescue to crop inspection. While they had a few audiovisual issues on the big screen everyone was able to get an overview of the three new Matrice M200 series of aircraft which were on display.
After the presentations, we broke for lunch and networking. As one of the original DJI Enterprise Distributors, I was able to speak to several groups about some key details of the three Matrice aircraft and the Zenmuse XT Thermal cameras. I was also able to demo the new Zenmuse Z30 zoom camera. The Z30 has a 30 to one optical zoom and an 180 to 1 digital zoom capability. Each is fully stabilized in flight with the remarkable DJI Zenmuse stabilizing technology.
These new aircraft are ideal for commercial and industrial clients. Applications include Powerline Inspections, Search and Rescue, Wind Turbine Inspections, Bridge Inspections, Railroad Inspections, Precision Agriculture, Solar Inspections, Firefighting, Telecom, Construction, Off Shore and much more. The applications are now made much easier, with more precision, at a lower cost.
The Matrice M210 and 210 RTK run on dual batteries for redundancy and for longer run times. These aircraft have the capability to mount one or two cameras under the airframe. For inspection work, you can mount a fully stabilized camera on top of the aircraft making upward inspections easier. For close in operations, the aircrafts sensor package delivers warnings if you are getting too close to objects.
After lunch, the DJI team demonstrated the remote broadcasting capabilities of the aircraft. They did so by simulating rescue missions a few miles down the road and broadcasting it back to our location. The DJI flight team was flying overhead showing the Z30 and XT thermal capabilities. The Matrice M210 transmitter connected via HDMI to a 4G LTE cellular transmitter, transmitted the signal via the cell tower network back to home base, enabling us to watch in real time.
This same process is used by many of the major television networks and as UAVExperts is doing all of the flight training for the Fox News corporation and many of the CBS stations across the USA I have seen this equipment put to use and it is a very powerful tool for enterprise clients.
The Live Demonstration
Live demonstrations took up the second half of the day. DJI provided us with several “real world” scenarios featuring the true impact that this new drone technology is having on various industries. The first demo was a land-based search and rescue mission, where a person was told to walk about 1/2 mile across a large field into some woods and get lost. While not knowing where this person had moved to, DJI pilots launched into 30 + MPH gusty winds and made the long flight to start the search with the Z30 and XT thermal cameras. Guests were able to monitor the search in real time, with the remote broadcasting system on several large screen televisions. The local Emergency management agency also released a search dog to join in the hunt.
The Matrices M210 performed exceedingly well in the adverse wind and both the XT and Z30 cameras were rock solid during the 20-minute demo. Using the zoom and thermal capabilities, the missing person was quick to locate.
The next demo was a fire search and rescue mission. The local fire department was brought in and with the help of a very large propane truck and a very large burner, they were able to light off a 50+ ft fireball of fire, which we were able to see remotely on the large screen TVS. It was easy to see the capabilities of the Zenmuse XT in a fire emergency with its remote temperature display and its multiple color palettes illustrating the temperature sending capabilities.
Attendees were able to see first-hand how these systems held up against the elements, and the differences they made when performed side by side with traditional methods. To say that the series is amazing would be a vast understatement. The sheer capabilities alone blew our team away.
The DJI CrystalSky
The demos were all flown using the new DJI Crystal Sky display tablet. This new tablet is included with the M210 and M210 RTK systems. They will be available in 5.5 and 7.85-inch sizes. While I had previously seen the prototype CrystalSky at CES, I was even more impressed at this event. The thing that impressed me most was when we were out in the field, with a very bright sky, and even with my Serengeti sunglasses, and I could see the bright display with no issues at all. This new display has a max brightness of 2000 cd/m2.
As an example, I want to compare it to the tablet I love and use daily, the Nvidia Shield. The Nvidia Shield has a fast processor, but it has a cd/M of only 500. The CrystalSky’s display is amazing. It has a removable battery, making it easy to swap out in the field quick. Its latency is down, sporting only 180ms vs most other displays at 220ms. I was impressed!
While no firm pricing or delivery date is available on these yet, we are taking and holding delivery slots if you want one.
I’m blessed to have the ability to get to fly every day. I have hundreds of flight hours on all of the DJI aircraft, and I have to say I was very impressed with the M200 series. More specifically I was impressed with the M210s flight capabilities and stability in very windy real world conditions. At one point, one of the visitors with a wind meter said we had gust to over 50 MPH but the Matrice system was stable and the Z30 camera even while zoomed in at 20+ to one looking for the lost person in the woods was rock solid.
In our flight school, we teach in all types of conditions. I always tell my students it might be bad weather today but you will have to develop personal minums to fly in so as to be safe. You will not always have perfect conditions when out on a job. It looks like the new Matrice systems will go a long way to providing an even wider envelope of safe flight perimeters to work with.
If you or your company are looking for the right equipment give us a call 678-513-4450.
UAVExperts.aero, and our sister consumer company atlantahobby.com have been in the UAV business since 1978. Our 12,000 sq ft shop in Cumming, GA, includes a maintenance facility, showroom, and classroom.
We’re one of the original DJI Tier 1 enterprise distributors and have a factory authorized service center. We’re considered a sole source full circle supplier. We can supply factory direct equipment, fleet management, flight training and FAA test prep for your Part 107 remote pilot license. Government agencies will find us in the SAM system.
One source, one call when you need equipment, help or have questions. I love working with high-quality teams like yours who can use the benefits these tools provide.
Thanks to Matt and Tony from DJI Enterprize for holding the event! I’d also like to thank NC State for a great facility to fly at and my team for support!