CNET First Look
DJI's new drones are ready to tackle tougher jobsThe company's M200 drones don't just take pretty pictures, they're built to weather the elements in search-and-rescue operations, or take on dangerous inspection jobs.
DJI is toughening up its drones to take more than just pretty pictures. They're unveiling its M200 series, rugged drones for more industrial uses including search and rescue, and powerline inspections. The idea is to provide better access to remote locations and reduce the risk to workers It's built on a similar blueprint as their $3,000 inspired Two Drone, but it's DJI's first to offer a dual dimple set up on the front, and then upward facing [UNKNOWN] on the top. Though you can't mount all three cameras at once to avoid. Blocking the GPS. You'll have to choose between the top or the front facing ones. The pilot can focus on flying using the first person feed from the built-in camera, while someone else can monitor the visuals from the mounted cameras with a picture in picture display. The cameras are interchangeable and must be bought separately. It also has two sensors on the front to render images in 3D for more precise obstacle avoidance. And a built-in ADS-B receiver, which is an aircraft positioning system that alerts the pilot of nearby airplanes or helicopters. We weren't able to see the Matrice 200 in action, but DJI envisions uses in areas like search and rescue, construction, farming, bridge inspection, or any other task they can create using the open SDK. And because it's weather resistant, it will get the job done rain or shine. Another first for DJI. The company's drone had already been used in some of these scenarios but never with this level of customization in-built hardware and software like the Inspire 2, the M200 has a dual battery set up, but a longer flight time of about 35 minutes according to DJI. There are three models in the series. The M200 with one gimbal, the M210 with the dual mount or the top mount, and the 210 RTK pictured here with a more robust navigation system for centimeter level precision during flight. DJI will be launching the new line in the second quarter of 2017.