DJI X-Port – Opening The Door To Fast Payload-to-Drone Integration
DJI has unveiled the X-Port gimbal – a ground-breaking fast-track payload-to-drone integration solution which will cut development time in half and help bring new and creative sensors and cameras to the enterprise industry.
This universal gimbal can be quickly integrated with custom third-party data sensors, such as multispectral cameras and LiDAR sensors.
Gimbals are inherently difficult to create, design, and test, so through the X-Port DJI is providing the tools to allow drone hardware producers to quickly bypass the costly and difficult stages of payload development.
At AirWorks 2019, DJI’s Director of Strategic Partnerships Jan Gasparic said that the DJI X-Port will cut payload development time by 60 per cent and added: “This is a unique gimbal for Payload SDK programmes. I am very excited by what opportunities this presents to the eco-system.”
The X-Port is a standard gimbal which features a gimbal debugging interface, built-in communication APIs and DJI SkyPort to help streamline the development cycle.
The release of the X-Port is a major breakthrough for the enterprise drone industry, opening up huge possibilities for third-party payload integration to enhance UAS missions across a variety of sectors. The fact that it dramatically reduces development time is the icing on the cake.
How Do I Access DJI X-Port?
DJI X-Port is specifically designed for developers who are looking to build their own sensors and mount them onto DJI drone platforms.
X-Port forms part of the Payload Software Development Kit (PSDK). To register, click the link here and then download the development package after undergoing the DJI audit process.
In terms of payment, the so-called development mode doesn’t require a PSDK licensing fee. However, when you switch your payloads from development mode to production mode, you need to pay for the PSDK development kit licensing fee, which is $5,000 (32,000 RMB). This fee only contains the licensing cost of the PSDK development kit.
So what is the difference between development and production mode?
- Development Mode: Number of binding X-Port < 10.
- Production Mode: Number of binding X-Port >= 10.
PSDK development kit authorisation is required when switching from development mode to production mode.
To do this, you will need to email the scanned copy of your company’s business license and project information to [email protected] to apply for it. After paying the PSDK authorisation fee, you will switch from development mode to production mode.
Updating to SkyPort 2.0
Not only does the DJI X-Port feature a debugging interface, it also comes with DJI SkyPort – a standard adapter that secures and integrates a payload onto the drone, facilitating communications between these two systems.
As part of the X-Port release, there has been a SkyPort update.
This update to version 2.0 enables X-Port compatibility, as well as UX SDK Open Source, MSDK LDM Mode, FW upgrade support, and OSDK 3.9. The updated hardware with SkyPort 2.0 also enables faster data transmission speeds for payloads.
Building On Payload SDK
The DJI X-Port builds on the company’s Payload SDK philosophy.
DJI Payload SDK is a transformational SDK that enables third-party manufacturers to develop application-specific payloads that can be integrated seamlessly with DJI flight platforms, which in turn helps to bring the enterprise drone business to new markets.
The development of Payload SDK has been a major success for the industry, and since its release in 2015 there has been more than 6.2million Mobile SDK activations.
To date, there have been more than 60,000 registered developers working on DJI SDKs and DJI has 110 payloads in development on the Payload SDK – 22 of which are already in mass production.
DJI says that these figures show the number of third-party apps that have been developed on Mobile SDK and Onboard SDK, and reflect the number of third-party solutions that have been built, installed, and integrated with DJI products.
Leading companies are bringing new solutions to the industry using the Payload SDK, including SlantRange and Sentera. Recently, the Wingsland Z15 Gimbal Spotlight and the AILF Instruments U10 UAV Based Laser Methane Leakage Detector were welcomed into the DJI Payload SDK family.
Mr Gasparic said: “We have a large Payload SDK portfolio. Payload SDK is really important and it offers a unique opportunity for others to bring their creative solutions onto DJI platforms.”
DJI X-Port FAQs
Does X-Port have specific size and weight requirements?
The load weight should not exceed 450g. The horizontal width should be no more than 100mm. The centre point of the mounting axis is the centre of the sphere, and the spherical surface with a diameter of 140mm is used. The rear half of the payload does not exceed the spherical surface.
What is the voltage provided by X-Port?
X-Port provides 13.6V or 17V voltage. Developers need to apply for high power output through GPIO and API interface.
What is the range of X-Port mechanical angle and controllable angle?
X-Port has three axes.
Mechanical angle range
Controllable angle range
Pitch: -120, 30
The Roll axis is uncontrollable and always level.
Does X-Port have specific requirements regarding the temperature of the working environment?
X-Port can only work in conditions ranging between -20 ° C to 50 °.
Is X-Port compatible with Mobile SDK?
X-Port is compatible with MSDK 4.11 beta and above versions.
Is the X-Port interface consistent with SkyPort?
X-Port adopts the interface of SkyPort 2.0, which is consistent with the SkyPort2.0 interface.
Does X-Port support the Gimbal follow function?
Is X-Port compatible with all gimbal ports of the DJI M200 Series V2?
No. X-Port supports the right gimbal port or the upward gimbal port of DJI M200 Series V2 drones. If mounting X-Port on the left gimbal port, you must also mount a DJI payload on the right gimbal port or upward gimbal port.
Do I get the certification from DJI when I start mass production?
No. DJI is not responsible for your payload even though it is developed based on DJI Payload SDK. DJI will only contact those developers who own good feedback from the market and excellent development capability for the brand authorisation certification issues as the commercial promotion.
James is Heliguy’s Blogger and Drone Content Executive. James keeps our readers up to date with drone news within the ever-changing industry.