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After Taking on Mt Everest DJI Drones have Another Obstacle to Clear

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Last week DJI released incredible vision of its FlyCart 30 transporting equipment and rubbish between camps on Mt Everest. The test team flew three oxygen bottles and 1.5kg of other supplies from Everest Base Camp (5,300m) to Camp 1 (6,000m). On the return trip rubbish was carried back down.

Flown in April, the event marks the first time drones have successfully completed the round-trip transportation of equipment and rubbish between Everest Base Camp and Camp 1.

“From the end of April, our team embarked on a groundbreaking endeavour to help make cleanup efforts on Everest safer and more efficient,” said Christina Zhang, Senior Corporate Strategy Director at DJI.

“We are thrilled to share that our DJI FlyCart 30 was up to the task. The ability to safely transport equipment, supplies, and waste by drone has the potential to revolutionise Everest mountaineering logistics, facilitate trash cleanup efforts, and improve safety for all involved.”

Drone use makes sense in dangerous locations like these but not all drones can perform at extreme altitudes with unpredictable weather. The camps are separated by the Khumbu Icefall, one of the most dangerous parts of the ascent. The FlyCart can carry a maximum payload of 40kg in emergency single-battery configuration. On Mt Everest the load appeared to be capped at 15kg.

This achievement just goes to show what DJI drones can do and there are millions in use around the world because – they are the best.

So that brings us to the US Government. The United States is considering the Countering CCP Drones Act or H.R. 2864 which, if passed, would prevent new DJI products from entering the American market. And … potentially lead to the FCC revoking clearance for existing drones. 

Lawmakers are set to consider the bill on June 12.

A ban on DJI products would be devastating for a range of businesses in the US due to the dominance of DJI globally. Security concerns have been raised by US officials about the use of data gathered by DJI devices. This has been fiercely rejected by DJI, a China based tech company.

It remains to be seen if this impacts Australia but a US ban won’t be good.

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DJI

From Drones to Mountain Bikes – DJI Announces e-Bike Drive System

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Yes. You read it right.

DJI the famous drone making company is now into eBikes – or more accurately – Amflow, an e-MTB brand incubated by DJI. The announcement was made at EUROBIKE 2024.

Djuro Sen EXPLAINS THE NEW DJI E-BIKE DRIVE SYSTEM ON SKY NEWS WEEKEND EDITION WITH TIM GILBERT

The Amflow PL is a new electric mountain bike (e-MTB) powered by the DJI Avinox Drive System. The drive unit features a compound planetary gearset, providing industry-leading power-to-size ratio, with 105 Nm torque and peak power output of 850 W (nominal power output of 250 W) from a drive unit weighing just 2.52 kg.

“As engineers with a passion for mountain biking, we have seen a lot of tech innovation that has never found its way into the eMTB scene,” said Peter Archer, Amflow Senior Product Specialist at Amflow.

“We have married our tech expertise with our passion and today we’re introducing Amflow to the mountain biking community with our very first product, the Amflow PL. We believe this is a significant moment for the eMTB industry with innovative technology and ultra-light material combining to turn any terrain into a wonderland of possibilities for eMTB riders.”

All up the bike weighs in at just 19.2 kg because the carbon fibre frame is just 2.27 kg. The Amflow PL frame is also compatible with both 27.5” and 29” rear wheels.

The Avinox system’s battery weighs just 2.87 kg and DJI has made a compact 12A/508W GaN fast charger, capable of charging the battery from 0% to 75% in 1.5 hours. The battery management system should ensure at least 80% capacity after 500 charge-discharge cycles.

The bike is smart too. A specialised Auto mode adapts assistance in real-time based on road conditions and riding position.  Once enabled, Auto mode helps users to taken on a variety of terrain types and gradients without having to switch modes.

Boost mode can be activated to instantly receive 120 Nm of torque and 1000 W high-power assistance. There’s also an intelligent walk assistance for easy incline traversing, Auto Hold to prevent rollback on slopes, and Hill Start Assist for additional torque to get riders started on inclines. It also allows stationary gear-shifting for a smooth and intuitive experience.

You can monitor everything on the bike from the 2” full-colour OLED touchscreen control display which is integrated directly into the frame of the Amflow PL. Riders can see real-time riding data, estimated range and the ability to adjust the setup with a swipe. Bluetooth-enabled Wireless Controllers connect wirelessly to the control display. Mode switches can be made while riding and when connected to the Avinox App riders have access to;

  • · Customisable Parameters: Parameters of riding modes can be quickly customised to adjust power, torque and cadence, according to riding habits.
  • · Anti-theft Mode: A password-protected anti-theft mode will sound an alarm and the app will send a notification, if unauthorised movement of the eMTB is detected.
  • · Remote Locating: The bike’s real-time location can easily be checked.

From the control display or the Avinox app, riders can review speeds, range, cadence, power, torque, gradient, altitude, calories burned, ride times, heart rate, and more. This data can also be easily synced with third-party apps such as Strava to share with friends and the eMTB community.

To maximise comfort, the rear shock, co-tuned with FOX, offers a sensitive initial stroke response to effectively filter out minor vibrations. It also provides powerful end-stroke support to prevent bottom-outs during continuous high-speed impacts or steep descents.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

Estimated to be available by Q4 2024 through authorised dealers in Germany, the UK, Australia and others, yet to be named.

Local pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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DJI PRO Announces New Stabilisers and Focus Pro

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Today is a good day for solo filmmakers and videographers. DJI Pro has released new and improved gimbals, DJI RS 4 and DJI RS 4 Pro plus DJI Focus Pro.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Ronin Series, and the evolving needs of creators are always at the forefront of our product development,” said Paul Pan, Senior Product Line Manager at DJI.

“With the latest DJI RS 4 and RS 4 Pro stabilisers, we’ve integrated the feedback we have been gathering from industry professionals over the past decade to drive innovation, ultimately optimising the design, stabilisation, and gimbal control for next-generation tools that are unparalleled in efficiency and reliability.

“Additionally, DJI Focus Pro, our inaugural independent Automated Manual Focus lens control system, marks a significant leap forward in providing cutting-edge LiDAR technology, once exclusive to the DJI PRO ecosystem, to more creators.”

DJI RS 4

The DJI RS 4 can carry a camera and lens combination of up to 3kg (6.6lbs). The tilt axis is 8.5mm greater than the previous model and the balancing space can accept accessories like ND filters. The 4th-gen stabilisation algorithm strikes a balance between stabilisation strength and camera movement. The high-capacity battery grip will last about 2.5 times longer.

The DJI RS 4 features second-generation native vertical shooting thanks to a redesigned gimbal horizontal plate. This makes the transition from horizontal to vertical fast and trouble-free. The automated axis locks have been upgraded, enabling quick start-up, transitions, and storage. Teflon coating on all three axes means smoother balancing while a fine-tuning knob allows precise adjustments when switching cameras or lenses. There’s also an automatic screen lock feature on the touchscreen.

Remote camera shutter and lens zoom control using Dual-Mode Bluetooth technology allows pairing with cameras for simple reconnection. When paired with the DJI Focus Pro Motor it allows smooth focus and lens zoom adjustments, enhancing lens control at a motor speed that is 30% faster.

The new Joystick Mode Switch allows quick switching between joystick modes for zoom or gimbal control. The customisable trigger function offers FPV mode while the gimbal mode switch allows swift switching between modes.

The RSA communication port connects accessories like the DJI RS Tethered Control Handle and other third-party options. DJI RS SDK protocol gives third-party developers the opportunity to customise functions for the RS 4.

Runtime has been extended to an incredible 29.5 hours thanks to compatibility with the new BG70 High-Capacity Battery Grip. You’ll need 2.5 hours to fully charge. Power delivery to cameras and accessories is available via USB-C.

DJI RS 4 PRO

The DJI RS 4 Combo Kits Unpacked – see it happen in the top video

The carbon fibre DJI RS 4 Pro can carry a hefty 4.5kg (10lbs) payload. It has Teflon coating with dual rolling bearings on the roll axis and a tilt axis fine-tuning knob. This makes really fine adjustments a lot easier to manage. Second-generation native vertical shooting capability, an auto-lock OLED touchscreen, and improved axis locks for reduced gimbal shakes all combine for a smooth outcome when it comes to editing.

A 20% increase in motor torque across all axes gives better performances when using heavy rigs. The addition of Car Mount mode will smooth out those annoying bumps by optimising its algorithm for vehicle shoots.

The DJI RS 4 Pro will give solo shooters a huge boost in productivity thanks to the Focus Pro LiDAR Autofocus system. Next-Gen ActiveTrack Pro uses advanced AI algorithms and LiDAR technology to ensure rock solid subject tracking.

In collaborative team shooting, the gimbal operator can control the RS 4 Pro gimbal through devices like the DJI Master Wheels, DJI Ronin 4D Hand Grips, and DJI High-Bright Remote Monitor. The focus puller can enable LiDAR Waveform on the High-Bright Remote Monitor for intelligent focus assistance, accurately controlling focus using the Focus Pro Hand Unit.

The DJI RS BG70 High-Capacity Battery Grip will give the RS 4 Pro an extended battery runtime of up to 29 hours. The recharge time is the same as the RS 4 – 2.5 hours. The grip can power cameras and accessories with up to 18 watts via the USB-C port.

The DJI RS 4 Pro integrates with the DJI Focus Pro lens control system giving access to comprehensive control over focus, iris, and zoom. DJI RS 4 Pro can power the Focus Pro LiDAR and DJI Video Transmitter simultaneously. The RS 4 Pro also supports car mounts, jibs, Steadicams, cable cams, and sliders, for a range of creative choices.

DJI FOCUS PRO

DJI Focus Pro is DJI’s first independent LiDAR focus system available to anyone. The all-new DJI Focus Pro Grip has a 2.5-hour power supply, intuitive visual operations, auto-calibration and data storage for 15 lenses, and Bluetooth connectivity for seamless start/stop recording.

A full-colour touchscreen allows operators to adjust LiDAR and motor parameters while providing a real-time view from the LiDAR’s perspective.

Human-subject focus distance extends to 20 metres, about three times further than the previous generation. The focus field of view of 70° has 76,800 ranging points and a refresh rate of 30 Hz. The upgraded LiDAR enhances human-subject edge detection while minimising focus hunting, ensuring reliable focus even in fast-moving scenarios.

Focus Pro’s enhanced intelligent autofocus functionalities, including AF subject recognition and tracking, adjustable focus speed, and selectable focus area modes, provide users with easier control over focusing, catering to diverse shooting scenarios.

AMF focus transition and AMF focus lock provides tactile feedback and millisecond-level switching between manual and auto focus. The Magnetic Damping FIZ Hand Unit improves focus, iris, and zoom control for focus pullers, enhancing teamwork efficiency in capturing complex scenes with ease.

Featuring stepless real-time damping coefficient adjustments and electronic A-B point marking mode, the Focus Pro Hand Unit ensures precision and convenience in focus control, while offering a communication distance of 160m, covering shooting needs in complex environments. Enabled with Bluetooth start/stop recording, it facilitates wireless control with mirrorless cameras.

The FIZ Motor is 30% faster, has 10ms low latency, and three-level adjustable torque, ensuring smoother operation and versatile cinematic language opportunities. Compatible with 15mm rods, the motor offers more mounting options. The Magnetic Damping Grip complements the unit, allowing seamless transition between focus and zoom control, with adjustable damping feedback for enhanced tactile experience. With intuitive dial operation and customisable rotational ranges, cinematographers can achieve dynamic lens operations effortlessly.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

DJI RS 4 is available now from retailers and DJI for A$799.

DJI RS 4 Combo is also available now from retailer and DJI for A$999.

DJI RS 4 Pro is available now from retailers and DJI for A$1,299.

DJI RS 4 Combo is also available now from retailers and DJI for A$1,599.

DJI Focus Pro Creator Combo available now from retailers and DJI for A$1,389

Image Matrix Tech is currently testing the RS 4 Pro and Focus Pro with videos to follow soon.

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DJI Dock 2: Drone-in-a-Box Just Got Better

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The new DJI Dock 2 is a lightweight, drone-in-a-box solution for automated aerial missions.

Compared with the previous version, Dock 2 is 68% lighter and 75% smaller. Two people can carry the 34kg (75lb) dock, making it easy to transport and install.

“Over the years, DJI’s industrial-grade drones have helped everyday heroes worldwide save
lives, improve worker safety across industries, and conserve ecosystems amid climate
changes,” said Christina Zhang, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at DJI.

“Today, far too many workers must perform repetitive but complex and dangerous jobs manually onsite. With DJI Dock 2, we’re delivering a cost-effective automatic aerial solution to complete these jobs efficiently from a safe distance.”

DJI has made the Dock 2 with maximum up-time in mind. Dock 2 only requires maintenance every six months. If there’s a power outage, it can operate on its own for 5 hours. So there’s little, to no risk of the drone being stranded. If anything goes wrong, operators will receive an email immediately.

Dock 2 is smarter than its predecessor, offering improved cloud-based intelligent functions like FlightHub 2 high-precision 3D models, created based on collected flight data. This data means the drones can be programmed to automatically adjust the camera’s angle to capture
the same area in subsequent flights. Routine surveying tasks can be automated with features
like this, improving worker safety and efficiency.

The drones used in Dock 2 are the all-new DJI Matrice 3D/3TD. Both drones feature integrated RTK antennas, omnidirectional obstacle sensing, and automatic obstacle bypass, enhancing the success rate of each automatic flight task. They also boast a 50-minute maximum flight time, a 10km operating radius, an IP54 rating for wind and dust, and can recharge for 400 cycles.

Matrice 3D

Designed for automatic mapping and surveying missions. Tele camera (1/2-inch CMOS, 162mm format equivalent, 12MP of effective pixels) and a wide camera (4/3 CMOS, 24mm format equivalent, 20 MP of effective pixels) with a mechanical shutter, meeting the needs for 1:500 high-precision mapping tasks.

Matrice 3TD

Designed for security and inspection operations. Same tele camera as the Matrice 3D but a different wide camera (1/1.32-inch CMOS, 24mm format equivalent, 48MP of effective pixels). It also includes an additional infrared camera (40mm format equivalent, 640×512 resolution for normal mode and 1280×1024 resolution for UHR infrared image mode, 28x digital zoom) that can depict both visible light and thermal images.

DJI Dock 2 uses vision sensors to evaluate a site before deploying the drone, ensuring
the flight path and destination have good GNSS signals. This speeds up the site selection process from 5 hours to 12 minutes. It can quickly complete propeller inspections and get accurate RTH location information using its dual RTK antennas, allowing the drone to take off within a minute.

DJI FlightHub 2 uses online weather forecasting so warnings can be sent, and flights can be terminated as necessary. DJI Dock 2 can be programmed to complete missions automatically, but at any time, operators can take control. Internal and external fisheye lenses provide real-time conditions within and outside the dock. The drone’s battery can be wirelessly
charged to 90% from 20% in approximately 32 minutes within the hangar.

Availability

DJI Dock 2 will be available for purchase starting at A$12,850.

DJI Matrice 3D starting at A$6,780

DJI Matrice 3TD A$8,920

(Prices do not include tax or installation and deployment service fees.)

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