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Image Matrix Tech on Sky News: Google Search Alternatives and Drone News



In Sunday’s segment on Sky New Australia (Weekend Edition with Jaynie Seal) we looked at Google search alternatives if the tech giant switched off access to Australians.

We also looked at impact such a move would have on Australia given search is linked to many other applications.

There’s been a lot of drone news recently so we covered autonomous drones and passenger drones.

2021 could be a massive step forward for commercial drones … accelerated by the pandemic.

P.S. Don’t forget to register your drone with Civil Aviation Safety Authority if you’re using it for work.

You’ll also need to sign up for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operator accreditation to be in the clear.

Deadline is Jan 28th 2021.

You don’t need this accreditation if you have RePL or are flying for fun in the sub-2KG category.

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



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



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.


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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DJI’s Delivery Drone is Massive with a 40 kg Payload Capacity



Everybody stand back! There’s a new delivery drone in town and it’s big, smart and fast. Drone leader DJI has announced one of its latest aircraft, the FlyCart 30 (FC30) will be available globally later this year.

This isn’t a direct competitor to an outfit like Wing, which delivers small consumer products to the public. This is is more like a utility drone for construction and remote work.

In its dual-battery configuration, the FC30 can an carry a 30 kg payload 16 km with a top speed of 72 kph. It does this thanks to a coaxial four-axis, eight-blade, multi-rotor configuration with carbon fibre propellers. In its emergency single-battery configuration, the payload capacity increases to 40 kg for a distance of 8 km.

The FC30 also has a ‘dual operator’ mode. This is pretty cool. Dual Operator mode allows control to be transferred between two pilots in different locations with the press of a button. This allows delivery in areas with big blind spots, like the other side of a mountain. With a pilot on each side of the obstruction, dual operator allows for a safe handoff to a pilot in a better position. You can see it in action in the video above.

Helping to make sure your delivery gets to where it needs to go, DJI O3 transmission maintains a stable connection between the drone and remote controllers up to 20 km away. DJI DeliveryHub organises aerial delivery with operation planning, status monitoring, centralised team resource management, and data collection and analysis. It also supports live viewing through the drone’s high resolution FPV gimbal camera.

DJI Pilot 2 powers manual flight, and displays real-time flight status, cargo status, and more for safe and efficient operation. In extreme weather or other abnormalities, DJI Pilot 2 alerts operators of risks and supports alternate landing site management. DJI DeliveryHub and FC30 support integration with external cloud platforms or payloads, enabling adaptation to a wide range of industry-specific applications.

The FC30 has a number of safety features and built-in redundancies. Before takeoff, it evaluates flight route viability based on environmental conditions, and ensures pre-takeoff safety through audio-visual prompts and by delaying propeller launch. During flight, the dual active phased array radar and binocular vision systems enable all-weather multidirectional intelligent obstacle sensing, day or night. The built-in ADS-B signal receiver gives timely warning of nearby crewed aircraft. In a serious emergency, the FC30 can deploy a parachute at low attitudes and land the drone stably, protecting people and property on the ground.

Pretty impressive stuff.

“From agriculture to construction management and surveying, DJI’s industrial-grade drones have transformed industries by improving safety for workers and productivity for businesses,” said   Christina Zhang, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at DJI.

“We are optimistic that FlyCart 30 will become a trusted solution for aerial delivery, solving complex terrain and terminal transportation problems efficiently, economically, and most importantly, safely from the air.”

The FC30 has IP55 protection, can operate in temperatures ranging from -20° to 45° C (-4° to 122° F), and can fly in winds up to 12 m/s. The standard propellers are optimised for altitudes from 0-6,000 m and support flight up to 3,000 m with a 30 kg payload. Self-heating batteries maintain optimal performance even in low temperatures.

In Cargo mode, payloads are placed in a 70-litre case that features weight and centre-of-gravity sensors to improve balance and safety. In winch mode, payloads are carried by a winch crane for delivery to areas without convenient landing sites.

The winch system includes a 20m cable that can manually or automatically retract at 0.8 m/s and can carry 40 kg. AR Projection assists accurate placement of goods by indicating the projected landing point. During flight, FC30 can intelligently adjust its flight attitude, automatically reducing cargo swing.

Global availability of the FC30 is expected sometime after March this year and it will cost around US$42,000.

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