DJI (company)

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SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd.
DJI
Native name
大疆创新科技有限公司
Private
Industry
Founded2006; 13 years ago (2006)
FounderFrank Wang (Wāng Tāo)
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Products
RevenueIncrease CN¥ 18 Billion (USD 2.83 Billion)[1] (2017)
Number of employees
c. 6000[2] (2017)
Divisions
  • China
  • Japan
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Chile
SubsidiariesHasselblad
Websitedji.com

SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd.[3] (doing business as DJI, which stands for Dà-Jiāng Innovations Chinese: 大疆创新, "great frontier innovation"), or DJI Sciences and Technologies Ltd. (Chinese: 大疆创新科技有限公司),[4] is a Chinese technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong with factories throughout the world, and is a world-leading manufacturer of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly known as "drones") for aerial photography and videography. It also designs and manufactures camera gimbals, action cameras, camera stabilizers, flight platforms and propulsion systems and flight control systems.

DJI is the dominant market leader in the civilian drone industry, accounting for over 70 percent of the world's drone market.[5] Its drone technology has been used globally for the music, television and film industries, including K-pop music videos and the sets of Emmy Award-nominated television productions such as The Amazing Race, American Ninja Warrior, Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

In 2017, DJI won a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award for its camera drone technology, which was recognized for excellence in engineering creativity, providing directors and cinematographers an affordable and accessible platform to create low-altitude aerial images, opening up creative possibilities and facilitating the distinct looks of some TV shows.[12]

Since 2015, DJI also sponsors the RoboMaster Robotics Competition (Chinese: 机甲大师赛), an annual robot combat tournament held at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre involving teams of mechatronics students from colleges all around the world, with a total prize pool of up to US$600,000. The winning team will take home US$75,000 (pre-tax) with potential job offers from DJI for its members.[13][14]

History[edit]

DJI store in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

The company was founded in 2006 by Frank Wang (Wāng Tāo, 汪滔).[15] Wang, who went to Hong Kong in 2003 after enrolling for a degree course in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), was part of the HKUST team participating in ABU Robocon and won third prize.[16] He was then granted HK$18,000 (US$2,300) by the university to conduct research and develop drones in 2005, and founded the company DJI in 2006 from his dorm room at HKUST selling flight control modules to the niche market of drone enthusiasts.

Products[edit]

Flight[edit]

Controllers[edit]

DJI develops flight controllers intended for multi-rotor stabilization control of various platforms or heavy payloads in aerial photography. The A2 controller includes orientation, landing, and home return features. Products include GPS-compass receivers, LED indicators and Bluetooth connectivity.[17][18]

Model A2 Naza V2 Wookong-M Naza-M Lite
Number of motors supported 4–8 4–8 4–8 4–6
Has built-in receiver yes (2.4 GHz) no no no
Hovering accuracy (m) vertical: ±0.5m / horizontal: ±1.5m vertical: ±0.8m / horizontal: ±2.5m vertical: ±0.5m / horizontal: ±2m vertical: ±0.8m / horizontal: ±2.5m
Motor-rotor configuration quad-rotor: +4,X4; hex-rotor: +6,X6,Y6,Rev Y6; octo-rotor: +8,X8,V8 quad-rotor: I4, X4; hex-rotor: I6, X6, IY6, Y6; octo-rotor: I8,V8,X8 quad-rotor: +4,X4; hex-rotor: +6,X6,Y6,Rev Y6; octo-rotor: +8,X8,V8 quad-rotor I4, X4; hex-rotor I6, X6, IY6, Y6

Platforms[edit]

Ronin[edit]

Habib Wahid using DJI Ronin

The Ronin (如影) is a standalone ground-based camera platform developed for cinematography and aerial filmmaking in professional environments. It is built for professional videography and photography and targets the film industry. By using three individual motors, Ronin stabilizes when moving vigorously.[19] Later models of the Ronin include the Ronin-M, Ronin 2, Ronin-S, and Ronin s

Ronin-S[edit]

The Ronin-S is a single-handed form factor gimbal designed for use with mirrorless and DSLR cameras up to 3.6 kg in weight.[20]

Ronin-SC[edit]

The Ronin-SC, launched on 17 July 2019, is an even lighter version of the Ronin-S gimbal. It has a similar battery life but is 41% lighter than the original. The Ronin-SC is designed to take mirrorless cameras that have a small form factor.[21]

Modules[edit]

DJI offers several add-on modules for their base products such as power management and video modules.

Module Lightbridge PMU (A2, Wookong, Naza V2, Naza Lite) iOSD MARK II iOSD mini BTU
Type (Purpose) Video Downlink Power Management On-Screen Display On-Screen Display Bluetooth Link
Works With A2, Wookong-M, Naza V2 A2, Wookong-M, Naza V2, Naza-M Lite A2, Wookong-M, Naza V2 A2, Wookong-M, Naza V2 Naza V2
Interface CAN Bus CAN Bus, Battery Connection CAN Bus CAN Bus CAN Bus
Battery Requirements 4S-6S Lipo 4S-12S Lipo 4S Lipo and Shared Flight Controller Power 2S Lipo and Shared Flight Controller Power Shared Flight Controller Power

UAVs[edit]

Flame Wheel[edit]

The Flame Wheel (风火轮) series are multirotor platforms for aerial photography. As of 2016, there is the hexacopter F550, and quadcopters F330 and F450. The most recent is the ARF KIT.[22][23]

Model Flame Wheel F330 Flame Wheel F450 Flame Wheel F550
Diagonal wheelbase (cm) 33 45 69
Frame weight (g) 156 282 478
Take-off weight (g) 600 – 1200 800 – 1600 1200 – 2400

Phantom[edit]

A DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ V3.0

The Phantom (精灵) series are currently the most popular product, and since launch, have evolved to integrated flight programming with a camera, Wi-Fi or Lightbridge connectivity, and the pilot's mobile device.[24] Phantoms are made for aerial cinematography and photography applications,[25] but are also used in recreational use.[26]

There have now been four generations of the product line, each increasingly more capable.[27][28] The most recent one is the Phantom 4 RTK, announced on October 15, 2018.[29]

Model Phantom 1 Phantom 2 Phantom 2 Vision Phantom 2 Vision+ Phantom FC40 Phantom 3 Standard Phantom 3 4K Phantom 3 Advanced Phantom 3 Professional Phantom 3 SE Phantom 4 Phantom 4 Pro Phantom 4 Advanced Phantom 4 Pro v2.0
Diagonal wheelbase (mm) 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350
Height (m) 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.19
Power consumption (W) 3.12 3.12
Take-off weight (g) < 1200 < 1300 1180 1284 1200 1216 1280 1280 1280 1280 1380 1388 1368 1375
Max speed (m/s) 10 15 15 15 10 16 16 16 16 16 20 20 20 20
Endurance (min) 25 25 25 10 25 25 23 23 25 28 30 30 30
Rate of climb/descend (m/s) 6 6/2 6/2 6/2 6 5/3 5/3 5/3 5/3 5/3 6/4 6/4 6/4 6/4
Operating temperature (°C) - 10 to 50 - 10 to 50 - 10 to 50 0 to 40 0 to 40 0 to 40 0 to 40 0 to 40 0 to 40 0 to 40 0 to 40 0 to 40
Maximum altitude (m) 6000 6000 6000 6000 6000 6000 6000 6000 6000
Maximum range (m) 1000 4000 5000 7000 7000 7000

Mavic[edit]

Mavic 2 Pro unfolded

The Mavic (御) series currently includes Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic Air, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 zoom and the new mavic mini. Mavic 2 is one of DJI's flagship consumer drone, released on August 23, 2018. All have a foldable design that allow drones to be transported more easily.

The Mavic 2 features 360 degrees redundant sensors and obstacle avoidance to help prevent crashes.

Model Mavic Pro Mavic Air Mavic 2 Pro Mavic 2 Zoom Mavic Mini
Maximum Speed (Sport mode, no wind) 40 MPH / 65 km/h / 18.0 m/s 42.5 MPH / 68.4 km/h / 19.0 m/s 45 MPH / 72 km/h / 20 m/s 45 MPH / 72 km/h / 20 m/s 29 MPH/ 46.8 km/h / 13 m/s
Maximum Speed (P-Mode) 22 MPH / 35 km/h / 9.7 m/s 15.5 MPH / 25 km/h / 6.9 m/s 30 MPH / 48 km/h / 13.4 m/s 30 MPH / 48 km/h / 13.4 m/s 17.9 MPH / 28.8 km/h / 8 m/s
Maximum Speed (WiFi only mode) 8.7 MPH / 14 km/h / 3.9 m/s -- -- -- 8.9 MPH / 14.4 km/h / 4 m/s
Empty weight (grams) 734 (without gimbal cover) / 743 (with gimbal cover) 430 (without gimbal cover) 907 (max takeoff weight) 905 (max takeoff weight) 249 (default) / 199 (Japan)
Flight time ~27 Mins ~21 Mins ~31 Mins ~31 Mins ~30 Mins
Realistic flight time ~21 Mins ~16 Mins ~29 Mins ~29 Mins ~27 Mins
Operating temperature (°C) 32° to 104 °F (0° to 40 °C) 32° to 104 °F (0° to 40 °C) 14° to 104 °F (-10° to 40 °C) 14° to 104 °F (-10° to 40 °C) 32° to 104 °F (0° to 40 °C)
Range (with controller) 4.3 miles / 7 km, 2.2 miles / 3.5 km with CE controller. 4 kilometers, 2 kilometers with CE controller 5 miles / 8 km 5 miles / 8 km 4 kilometers, 2 kilometers with CE controller
Range (with WiFi only) 262 feet/ 80 meters -- -- -- --
DJI Mavic Air in flight

The Mavic Air was announced on 23 January 2018, for release on 28 January. It is marketed as a smartphone-sized drone that can fit in a jacket pocket.

It features a 12 MP 4K HDR camera, mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, and has a new panorama mode, which stitches together 25 photos in eight seconds to create a "Sphere Panorama". Due to antennas mounted on its landing gear, the drone has a 21-minute flight time and a 2.5 mile range. Like the Spark, the Air also features the "Smart Capture" mode, in which the drone can be controlled by hand gestures.[30]

Spreading Wings[edit]

DJI Spreading Wings S800 hexacopter

The Spreading Wings (筋斗云) series are mainly industrial UAVs for professional aerial photography, high definition 3D mapping, ultra light search and rescue, and surveillance etc. based on camera gear on board. In 2013, two models have been released: S800 regular and EVO.[31]

Model Spreading Wings S800 Spreading Wings S800 EVO Spreading Wings S900 Spreading Wings S1000
Diagonal wheelbase (cm) 80 80 90 104.5
Empty weight (kg) 2.6 3.7 3.3 4.2
Take-off weight (kg) 5 – 7 6 – 8 4.7 – 8.2 6 – 11
Endurance (min) 16 20 18 15
Operating temperature (°C) - 10 to 40 - 10 to 40

Inspire[edit]

DJI Inspire 2

The Inspire (悟) series is a professional series of camera quadcopters similar to the Phantom line, but including more high-end and professional features including an aluminum-magnesium body with carbon fibre arms, and detachable props on the Inspire 2. Presented in 2017, the Inspire 2 can be equipped with a 6K camera that is capable of capturing up to 30 FPS.[32] Or a 4K camera that is capable of capturing 120fps as slow motion.

Inspire Specifications [33]

Model Inspire 1 Inspire 1 Pro Inspire 2[34]
Weight 2935 g (Battery included) 3400 g (Battery, propellers and Zenmuse X5 included) 3440 g (Battery, propellers and camera on-board)
Takeoff weight 3400 g 3500 g 4000 g
Hovering accuracy

GPS mode

vertical: 0.5 m; horizontal: 2.5 m vertical: 0.5 m; horizontal: 2.5 m vertical: 0.5 m; horizontal: 1.5 m
Max angular velocity pitch: 300°/s; yaw: 150°/s pitch: 300°/s; yaw: 150°/s pitch: 300°/s; yaw: 150°/s
Max tilt angle 35° 35° 35°
Max ascent/descent speed 5/4 m/s 5/4 m/s 5/6 m/s
Max speed 22 m/s (ATTI mode, no wind) 18 m/s (ATTI mode, no wind) 24 m/s (ATTI mode, no wind)
Max flight altitude 4500 m 4500 m 4500 m
Max wind speed resistance 10 m/s 10 m/s 10 m/s
Operating temperature range -10°−40 °C -10°−40 °C -20°−40 °C
Max flight time approximately 18 minutes approximately 15 minutes approximately 27 minutes
Indoor hovering Enabled by default Enabled by default Enabled by default
Release date November 13, 2014 January 5, 2016 November 16, 2016

Matrice[edit]

DJI Matrice 200 Series, used by Deutsche Bahn

The Matrice (经纬) series are designed for industrial applications.

The Matrice 600pro released November 2016, is an industrial drone that inherits everything from the M600 with the addition of improved flight performance and better loading capacity. The M600 now comes with pre-installed arms and antennas to help reduce the setup time. This is perhaps the biggest improvement over the older M600. With a maximum payload of 6 kg the Matrice 600pro can carry all types of payloads including LiDAR.

LiDARUSA Snoopy 120 LiDAR System mounted on an DJI M600pro

The Matrice 100 is a fully programmable and customizable drone, launched on July 6, 2015.[35] It has expansion bay and communication ports, which allows developers to add additional components for different purposes. [36]

Matrice 200 series is a range of weatherproof quadcopters from DJI announced in February 2017.

They are designed for industrial applications, including surveying, inspection, search and rescue and firefighting.[37]

The highest spec of the series is the Matrice 210 RTK, which features Real Time Kinematic technology, allowing for precise Geotagging of images captured from the quadcopter.[38]

The Matrice 200 only supports a single camera, mounted either below or above the drone.

The Matrice 210 and 210 RTK add the ability to dual mount cameras to the drone, allowing multiple sensors to be used simultaneously.[39]

In December 2018, an FCC filing reveals the DJI Matrice 200 V2, Matrice 210 V2 and Matrice 210 RTK V2.[40]

Spark[edit]

A DJI Spark with its controller and an extra battery

Released in May 2017, the Spark (晓) was designed to be an affordable consumer drone that is nevertheless capable of producing high-quality images and video. This drone is DJI's cheapest to date and features a 12-megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p video at 30fps. The camera is stabilised mechanically by a 2-axis gimbal. The Spark also carries an advanced infrared 3D camera that helps the drone to detect obstacles in front of it, as well as facilitating hand-gesture control—a feature that was, until the release of the Mavic Air in January 2018, unique to the Spark. In addition to a smartphone app with virtual controller, a physical controller can also be bought, extending the drone's range up to 1.2 miles (2 km). The aircraft has a flight duration of up to 16 minutes, but its exhausted battery can easily be swapped out for a charged battery to extend flight time.[41]

There have been multiple complaints that the drone could switch off and fall while flying.[42] DJI responded to this by releasing a mandatory battery firmware update in August 2017.[43]

In November 2019 the Mavic Mini was released, replacing the Spark in DJI's consumer line-up.

Camcorders[edit]

Osmo[edit]

The Osmo (灵眸) is a camcorder developed by DJI. The camera uses a smartphone to view camera footage and can record 4K and take either 12–16 MP stills. The camera is interchangeable, with the Zenmuse X3, X3 Zoom, X5, and X5R gimbals compatible, and uses the FM-15 Flexi microphone.

Osmo Mobile[edit]

Similar to the Osmo, it instead relies on the user's smartphone as the camera. Most smartphones are accepted into the gimbal with a width range of 2.31–3.34 inch (58.6-84.8 mm). The original Osmo Mobile has reached its end-of-life and has been replaced with a second generation.[44]

Osmo Mobile 2[edit]

Announced after CES, the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is the successor to the original Osmo Mobile. Still reliant on a smartphone camera, the Osmo Mobile 2 was a refinement adding multiple shot modes and increasing the battery life to 15 hours. With the rise of Instagram Stories, the Osmo Mobile also allows the gimbal to be placed in portrait mode.[45][46]

Osmo Pocket[edit]

On November 28, 2018, DJI introduced its newest version of the Osmo when it unveiled the Osmo Pocket. Designed to be small enough to fit into a pocket or purse, the Osmo Pocket is capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second. It also has features such as ActiveTrack, Motionlapse and 3x3 Panorama.[47]

Osmo Action[edit]

Announced on May 15, 2019, the Osmo Action is DJI's first product in the action camera market. It is a direct competitor to the GoPro action camera line with specifications including a 12MP camera sensor, 4K video, HDR video, timelapse modes, and a front-facing full-color screen.[48][49][50] The camera also debuted DJI's latest electronic image stabilization technology.[51]

Osmo Action has a CMOS 1/2.3” 12M with a FOV of 145 °F/2.8, an ISO interval for photos between 100-3200 and for video is between 100-3200. The camera is natively waterproof up to 11 meters and can resist to a fall of 1 meters. It can record up to 4K (16:9) at 60 fps and can be charged by internal USB-C port. This is the 5 the gen product.


Osmo Mobile 3[edit]

Announced on August 13, 2019, the Osmo Mobile 3 is the third smartphone stabilizer from the Osmo family of products. The new Osmo Mobile 3 features the return of the front-facing trigger which was missing on the previous generation.[52][53] The big design improvement is the foldable frame which increases portability. Another feature from DJI is the ability of the gimbal to charge smartphones from the integrated battery. It's cheaper than its predecessors and is designed for the social media crowd.[54]

Goggles[edit]

DJI Goggles

The DJI FPV series [55] are head-mounted displays designed for FPV drone flying. There are two different product lines in the FPV series: the DJI Goggles and the Digital FPV System. The DJI Goggles is designed to interface with DJI-branded drones, combining dual LCD display screens, wireless connectivity and direct photo and video capture control into one pair of goggles. In November 2017, DJI also released DJI Goggles RE ("Racing Edition"), which featured a new, more rugged metallic matte black casing and compatibility with racing quadcopters.[56] The DJI Digital FPV System is a standalone system designed for non-DJI brand or custom-built drones, consisting of an action camera, an FPV goggles (which only works with its own camera, not the cameras on other DJI drones), a flight control/signal transmission module and a remote controller.[57]

RoboMaster S1[edit]

On June 11, 2019, DJI unveiled the RoboMaster S1 (机甲大师S1), its first consumer ground drone, named after DJI's annual RoboMaster robot combat competition,[58] of which it is now an unofficial mascot. The S1 (meaning "Step 1") is a tank-like rover remotely controlled via Wi-Fi and app on Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices, with features such as spring-dampened beam axle front suspension, four omnidirectional 12-roller Mecanum wheels that allow agile strafing, a 1080p FVP camera mounted within a 2-axis gimbal turret, and the ability to "fight" other S1 units via either an infrared beam illuminator (which "tags" other objects like in laser tag) or a coaxial gel blaster gun (which shoots hydrogel beads with green LED illumination for tracer effects). Designed to be a mass-produced version of the Infantry robots used in the official competition, the S1 has a total of six sensor panels — four infrared/sound hybrid sensor on four sides of the chassis, and two infrared-only sensor on the lateral sides of the turret), which register hit points for match scoring.

Designed to be an "advanced educational robot", the user has to assemble the S1 from loose parts out of the box and learn to program its AI functionality. Both Scratch and Python are programming languages employed by DJI along with app learning modules to teach the end user how to code.[59]

Controversy[edit]

In January 2015, a Phantom 3 crashed into the White House's south lawn, in Washington, D.C..[60] DJI later set up a no-fly Geo-system according to prohibited airspace, and forced all drones to update the firmware. The new system will forbid flights getting closer or take off in restricted zones based on its GPS location.[61]

In 2016, ISIS used DJI drones as exploding devices in Iraq.[62][63] DJI later created a broad no-fly zone over nearly all of Iraq and Syria.[64]

Several military organizations also utilize DJI products for aerial photography mission including the US Army, and DJI drones were the most widely used commercial unmanned aerial system that the US Army has employed. However, in August 2017, the United States Army published internal guidance regarding the banning of using DJI drones and parts in the army for security reasons. DJI's Public Relations Manager, Michael Perry expressed surprise and disappointment after the memo was released. A U.S. Army spokesperson issued a response to media inquiries claiming that the guidance is still undergoing a review.[65] Although the US Army has stopped using DJI products, other branches of the US military such as the US Marines are still fielding DJI products as a commercial photography platform.[66] In 2019, US Air Force and Navy still acquire DJI products for their special forces with special exemptions granted by the Pentagon despite earlier cited security concerns.[67]

On November 17, 2017, Ars Technica reported a security breach of private customer data at DJI.[68] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found no evidence of DJI drones attempts to transfer data from the aircraft.[69] In 2017, DJI announced Local Data Mode for drones, under which the aerial platform transfer any flight data over the Internet. Brendan Schulman of DJI's Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs denies the report from Ars Technica, saying “DJI is committed to protecting the privacy of its customers’ photos, videos and flight logs." DJI also emphasized that its drone was never marketed for military applications.[70][71]

On 30 March 2018, Israel Defense Forces on using DJI’s Matrice 600 drone to drop tear gas from above caused injuries, panic and death during Gaza and West Bank protests.[72][73]

On June 05, 2018, Police body cam and Taser maker Axon announced it is partnering with DJI to sell surveillance drones to U.S. police departments, that announcement sparked serious concerns, among civil rights and privacy advocates.[74][75] In 2018, As the largest municipal police department in the United States, the NYPD say 14 DJI drones will be used for Search & Rescue or inaccessible crime scenes and promises not to spy on people or used as a Weapon.[76][77]

On August 4, 2018, two Matrice 600 drones detonated explosives near Avenida Bolívar, Caracas, where Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, was addressing the Bolivarian National Guard in front of the Centro Simón Bolívar Towers and Palacio de Justicia de Caracas.[78][79][80] The Venezuelan government claims the event was a targeted attempt to assassinate Maduro, though the cause and intention of the explosions is debated.[81][82] Others have suggested the incident was a false flag operation designed by the government to justify repression of opposition in Venezuela.[83][84][85]

On January 21, 2019, DJI announced that an internal probe had uncovered "extensive" fraud by certain employees who "inflated the costs of parts and materials for certain products for personal financial gain."[86] DJI estimated the cost of the fraud at "up to RMB 1 billion" (US$147 million), but maintained that the company "did not incur a full year loss in 2018."[87]

See also[edit]

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