There's still a buzz about the place at Heliguy as we wait for the much anticipated DJI Matrice 100
. It's a quadcopter aimed at the hardware or software developer or the enthusiast and it shares of lot of DNA with its older brother - the DJI Inspire 1
, which was launched towards the end of last year.
The Inspire 1 is an extremely popular piece of kit and it's really caught on with commercial UAV pilots with more modest budgets or those who need a smaller and more nimble rig than say the DJI S900
. It's very stable and quick while remaining relatively compact and, of course, it comes with a 360 degree 4K UHD camera.
DJI Inspire 1
The DJI Matrice 100 looks simpler but is actually more versatile. It can be configured with your choice of batteries, cameras and other sensors. You can even combine it with DJI's exciting, new detect and avoid system - Guidance
. This combines ultrasound and high contrast cameras on all four sides as well as below the Matrice. Developers have been champing at the bit to get hold of this.
DJI Matrice 100 with Guidance
DJI Guidance - a detect and avoid system
Since the Inspire 1 came on the market it's become a much more capable drone. Heliguy has produced a first person view (FPV) camera upgrade
which makes it safer to fly when a second operator is controlling the camera.
We've also developed a thermal camera option
for the Inspire. The fixed mount on the nose means the gimbal stabilised main camera can continue to operate at the same time.
Heliguy's FPV camera on a DJI Inspire 1
Thermal imaging camera mounted on the DJI Inspire 1
Now Pix4D the geospatial mapping software company have announced that their image capture app for the Inspire 1 and the Phantom 3 has been released as a beta with a full release to follow "very soon". We hope to be testing the new app in the near future. The same software will eventually work with the DJI Matrice 100 as well.
Data acquired by the Inspire and Phantom can be used by Pix4D's mapper software to create all sorts of 2D and 3D images. A new 2.0 version of that is due to be released in August. This creates another market for UAV operators who, until now, have just been able to shoot videos and stills.
The Matrice 100 has all of DJI’s easy-to-fly technology built in, and includes the flight controller, propulsion system, GPS, DJI Lightbridge
, a dedicated remote controller, and a rechargeable battery. Other accessories are available as optional extras so that you can adapt your DJI Matrice 100 to your own requirements. Although it comes in kit form, Heliguy can discuss your requirements and assemble your flying machine to order. Call us on 0191 296 1024.
Optional camera for DJI Matrice 100
It's the DJI software development kit that helps to set the Matrice apart from the Inspire. You can use the SDK to make a system for a whole range of uses. Teach your Matrice 100 how to behave and what to do. Programme customised commands, tell it how and where to fly, and gather information from the entire system in real time. Combine that with its flexible payload system, and you have an aerial platform that can be used for far more tasks than the Inspire can.
However if you want a straightforward, stylish, high performance UAV which works straight out of the case then the Inspire 1 is better suited to you. So in the battle of DJI Inspire 1 vs Matrice 100 there's no outright winner. The choice is yours and it depends very much on your requirements.
What do you get in the DJI Matrice 100 box?
DJI Matrice 100 comes with the same props and motors as the Inspire 1 as well as the same, standard sized battery. For both models a larger battery is available and the Matrice has the advantage of being able to carry two of them - one on the top and another on the bottom if longer range is needed. The downside is that this reduces the payload area for other equipment.
Flight controller and Lightbridge
Both aircraft have the same N1 flight controller system and Lightbridge control and video link units.
Camera doesn't come as standard on the DJI Matrice 100
The Inspire comes complete with a gimbal mounted 4K UHD and HD camera but for the Matrice that's an optional extra because it's designed to work with a variety of sensors of your own choosing.
A choice of one or two transmitters
Both the Inspire 1 and the Matrice 100 come with one remote controller but there's an option to upgrade to two - one for the pilot and one for the camera operator. Not included are the tablets or phones that you'll need for the DJI Pilot app. These attach to holders on top of the transmitters.
Only the DJI Matrice 100 is capable of taking the DJI Guidance system at present. That is an optional extra costing £899. The Inspire 1 comes out of the box with visual positioning underneath which it uses to lock onto surfaces when too few satellites are available. It's certainly not a detect and avoid system like DJI Guidance is but it's ideal for indoor flying or for flying through concrete canyons.