Commercial Drones FM Podcast - DJI Matrice 200 Drone Platform Overview

#038 – Overview of the DJI Matrice 200 Drone Platform

In Podcast by Ian Smith


On February 26th, 2017, DJI announced the new Matrice 200 platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Matrice 200 comes in three variants; the M200, M210, and M210 RTK. This new drone platform marks DJI’s serious and well-considered entry into industrial-grade drones for enterprise. With hugely useful features like ADS-B, dual and top-mounted gimbals, redundancy, and IP43 classification, this multirotor is poised as an incredible threat to senseFly’s Albris, Intel’s Falcon 8, and Aerialtronics’ Altura Zenith (among others). An estimated 38 minutes of flight time and compatibility with the latest Zenmuse suite of cameras round out the DJI M200’s impressive specs. The only thing DJI has left to do is deliver.


My first reaction upon first hearing about the new DJI M200 was actually that of someone who thinks they’ve heard of everything. DJI has been on an absolute tear lately and I didn’t expect anything exciting, especially since I assumed the M200 would be similar to the more developer-focused Matrice 100 (M100). Well, after watching the launch video (linked below), my tune is decidedly different. This is big news. DJI continues to raise the bar not only on its competition, but on itself as well.

The biggest new features on display here are the dual-gimbal and sensor capability (notably, a FLIR thermal sensor paired with a 30x optical zoom camera), the top-mounted gimbal, ADS-B inclusion, IP43 certification, and some new software that we don’t have details on yet. The Matrice 200 drone is expected to be available for pre-orders in Q2 of 2017 but there is currently no word on pricing. However, one of the larger media outlets did mention that it would be, “DJI’s most expensive drone yet.” We’ll have to wait and see.

What do you think of this drone? Is it a must-buy for search and rescue, inspection, or construction? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

Or you can join in on the more exclusive conversation in the Commercial Drones FM podcast supporter’s Slack group. Check out the podcast’s Patreon page to learn how to gain access.

Check out my notes on DJI’s Matrice 200 and the specs taken from the launch announcement below:

DJI M200

Available Q2 2017

Matrice 200 price not yet available

    • 3 models
      • Matrice 200
        • AirSense ADS-B receiver
        • FPV camera
        • Dual-battery
        • Flight autonomy
      • Matrice 210
        • All M200 features
        • Multiple payload configurations
          • 3 cameras!
            • Most effective combo is likely XT + Z30 or XT + X5S
        • Universal ports
      • Matrice 210 RTK
        • All M210 features
        • Built in RTK GPS
    • DJI Enterprise’s coming out party. On Twitter it was announced almost exclusively by the DJI Enterprise account.
    • Targeted at Power Line, WInd Turbine, and Bridge inspections
      • SAR
      • Solar inspection
      • Firefighting
      • Telecom
      • Offshore rig inspection
      • Construction
      • Precision ag

Hardware

  • Weighs 3.8kg or ~8.4 lbs
  • IP43 classification
    • = Ingress Protection
      • “Classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures.”
    • First digit is for solid particle protection (higher is better)
      • Effective against objects greater than 1mm —- Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
      • For reference, a level 5 would be able to protect against some dust
    • Second digit is liquid ingress protection
      • Spraying Water —– Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect
  • Dual IMU, Triple barometer, Dual frequency
  • Vision systems for collision avoidance
    • Upper Infrared sensor (new)
    • Downward vision and ultrasonic sensors
    • Front vision sensors
    • (nothing rear)
  • 7km operational range
    • Website mentions it uses Lightbridge 2, why not Ocusync?
    • Might be because Ocusync is designed for zero or very low latency and Lightbridge is designed for broadcast, but lower latency that could come in handy during close operations to structures and even SAR operations
    • Ocusync is on the Mavic Pro and the website lists the same range there, 7km and Lightbridge 2 website lists 5km
  • Up to 38 min flight time
    • Battery redundancy
      • Two TB50 or TB55 batteries
        • Same batteries from Inspire 2, start at $160
        • Self-heating for operating in sub-zero temperatures
    • Affected by sensor payload of course
  • 2kg payload
  • ADS-B
    • Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast
    • With a built-in ADS-B receiver, the M200 Series enhances airspace safety by automatically providing the operator with real-time information about nearby manned aircraft.
  • Universal communications ports on chassis
    • Expansion port
      • UART / PWM / GPIO
    • Power port
      • XT30
  • Supports all current line of Zenmuse cameras
    • XT Thermal
    • Z30 zoom
    • X4S
    • X5S

Software

  • Open SDK
    • Supports DJI GO 4, DJI Pilot, or DJI GS PRO
    • DJI Flighthub
      • “Oversee your aerial operations remotely to view live inspections and manage your fleet of drones.”
      • Enterprise fleet management
      • Mission planning
      • Video livestream
    • DJI Pilot
      • Professional pilot functions
      • Intelligent flight features
  • The DJI Matrice 200 does not have a price yet
  • “Their most expensive drone yet” according to one of the more major media outlets
  • Available Q2
  • Directly competes with senseFly’s Albris, Aerialtronics Altura Zenith (Dupla Vista dual camera system), Intel’s Falcon 8, others