An Insider Look At The Freefly MoVI XL

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Heliguy has been digging up all the information we can on the Freefly MoVI XL before it’s May release and has put together this article to share what we know so far.

A much larger gimbal than the MoVI PRO, the XL is designed to be used for either crane or vehicle shots and is able to withstand rough usage and harsh acceleration. Freefly have stated that it’s, in theory, possible to mount the XL to an aircraft – they haven’t yet made one themselves that’s capable of lifting it.

The MoVI XL gimbal attached to a robotic testing arm and a RZR

The XL is a departure from their usual market segment and they have made it clear that they’re looking to learn from businesses already acting within this area (large professional camera operators and industrial clients) as well as requesting potential use cases from interested parties.

Now you know the background, it’s time to look at the specifics.


THE FREEFLY MOVI XL KEY FEATURES

Here are the headline facts that you need to know about Freefly’s MoVI XL:

  • 50lb Payload Capacity
  • Hollow Motor Shafts for Easy Wire Distribution
  • Custom-designed Axis Locks For Greater Control
  • New Quick Release Mechanism
  • Compatible with the Existing Freefly Product Ecosystem (i.e. MIMIC, Bush Pilot & MoVI Controller)

MOVI XL IN DEPTH

The upcoming MoVI XL is able to work alongside cameras up to and including the ARRI ALEXA 65. This is a serious piece of equipment that is used by professional film crews (including features such as sci-fi thriller Passengers & Marvel’s Doctor Strange).

The XL runs on a dual battery set-up (10AH, 6S 25.2V) which allows for completely wireless operation as a totally self-contained unit. According to the manufacturer, these batteries offer up to 3 hours of run-time for the camera & gimbal.

Despite being capable of carrying payloads of up to 50lbs, Freefly has used their experience of creating professional gimbals to retain a lightweight construction for ease of transport. This is due to a carbon fibre-based construction made up of 25mm tubes which form the camera cage and 50mm tubes everywhere else.

The design principle is similar to that of the MoVI PRO and as such, making adjustments to the gimbal (i.e. toggle clamps and sliding tubes) will be familiar to anyone who has experience with the smaller model.

The MoVI XL’s smooth panning action

While there have been some changes (mainly in terms of safety features due to the new gimbal’s size and payload capacity) the XL features a similar control unit to the MoVI PRO meaning that the user interface and screens remain intuitive and recognisable to Freefly’s user base.

Freefly users will also be happy to hear that there’s total compatibility with the MoVI product range including the Controller & MIMIC (inc. BushPilot).

Lightweight doesn’t mean low performance however, as Freefly’s experience in the sector has enabled them to design the MoVI XL to optimise pan balance and camera tilt performance thanks to an all-new dual-purpose axis lock which can either hold the tilt cage still when you’re fitting the camera set-up into the gimbal or, if you want to limit range, twist the lock 180 degrees to access a bumper system. The option to tilt the camera 360 degrees is still available when the lock is disabled but this is dependent on the size of the camera and lens set-up.

Testing durability with a robotic arm

These additions allow you to focus on tilt and wire placement more efficiently before perfecting roll balance. Speaking of efficiency, Freefly has gone all out to ensure maximum performance, placing motor drives right alongside their respective motors and moving the power distribution hub to the rear of the gimbal.

The motors have also been created with large hollow shafts, allowing the user to run any necessary wiring through the body of the gimbal to wherever they’re required without it becoming a tangled mess. This means that SDI or HDMI cable scan be run out of the gimbal into whatever secondary device you’re using. There is also a hole in the side of the camera cage which serves the same purpose.

The hollow motors allow for easy wire distribution

Freefly has also developed a new quick-release mechanism (with a simple slide & clamp action) to attach the gimbal to a vehicle/crane and numerous larger the pop and lock points, allowing users to mount accessories easily. They’ve also added in custom direct drive brushless motors and high-resolution encoders.

A gimbal of this size obviously need to be a sturdy bit of gear and, from what Freefly have demonstrated, it’s unlikely to disappoint. Featuring an improved vibration isolation system and high-performance GPS to monitor horizon stability even under harsh acceleration, this is a truly robust rig. This is especially evident when this level of acceleration can reach up to 100mph and still see great results from the gimbal.

The MoVI XL is designed to perform at high speeds

While it’s not recommended to use the XL in a downpour, Freefly has made the effort to waterproof it to some extent. In their own words:

“Everything that is possible to cover and seal will be, however, there may be components that require bagging If you’re looking to shoot in the rain – this is down to a balance between heat dissipation [from the gimbal’s motors etc.] and weatherproofing.”

One of the most exciting things about the XL is that it’s designed to be expandable and adaptable. Due to its modular tube and machine structure block system, it leaves the user with a great deal of scope to customise and personalise.

A few other final points to make are that the XL has full F/I/Z integration, is compatible with the Freefly API and allows complete control over RED cameras via RED RCP.


FREEFLY’S MOVI XL VIDEO SERIES

Here are Freefly’s series of Facebook Live videos which run through their factory set-up, showcase the MoVI XL and provide some great insights into the process that went into designing it.

 

First Q&A

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffreeflysystems%2Fvideos%2F1498205313541727%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281&appId

Take a look at the initial version of the MoVI XL from the back-end of 2016.

 


 

Setting Up the MoVI XL

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffreeflysystems%2Fvideos%2F1571614116200846%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281&appId

Get some insights into the process of getting the XL ready to capture footage.

 


Mounting the MoVI XL to a Vehicle

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffreeflysystems%2Fvideos%2F1600341023328155%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281&appId

Watch as Freefly test the MoVI XL at high speeds on their Polaris RZR.


Second Q&A

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffreeflysystems%2Fvideos%2F1611260022236255%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281&appId

Finally, here is the most recent Q&A on the MoVI XL to answer any remaining questions you may have.


GET IN TOUCH

If you want to discuss the upcoming MoVI XL or any other Freefly products our team are available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and will help you with any queries you may have. You can reach us via the details below:

Email

info@heliguy.com

Call

0191 296 1024

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more of the latest product news from Freefly, DJI and other industry leaders as well as the latest drone news from around the world.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/03/30/an-insider-look-at-the-freefly-movi-xl/

Heliguy Interviews Durham University

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In our latest Insider interview, we had the chance to speak to Heliguy customer and Durham University lecturer Patrice Carbonneau about the work he is carrying out with drones and how they are becoming an asset in academic circles.

Having used drones in his research since 2007, Patrice is an advocate of their use for research and, in particular, the collection of geographical data. Over the course of our chat, we covered topics as disparate as mapping software and what he flies for fun, gaining some great insights into sUAS and their use in the field.

Learn more in our exclusive interview below.


The Interview

Read on to discover how drones are being used to further academic studies and enhance research methodology, allowing field workers to capture sophisticated aerial data in ways never previously possible.

Can you give us a brief overview of your academic background?

PC: I started out with degrees in both Physics and Engineering, then I moved onto a Masters degree in the field of fluvial geomorphology, working on sediment transport. It’s in the late 1990s at PhD level that I started to do proper remote sensing and photogrammetry which I was applying to habitat assessment for Atlantic salmon. I continued this at the post-doc level. I only started using drones (sUAS) in 2007 shortly after starting my lectureship at Durham University. Since then I’ve been lucky to operate all over the globe in places like Svalbard, India, the Atacama desert, the Alps and, of course, the UK.


What led you to study the use of consumer drones as research tools? 

PC: The need to map river habitats more efficiently and over larger areas led me to use remote sensing. At first, this was from full sized aircraft. But the logistic complications and costs of using full sized aircraft are considerable. So like many in the river sciences community, I started using sUAS as a readily available, rapid-deployment, tool for mapping.

Agricultural photomap

An example of a map created by stitched-together drone imagery


Do you pilot drones vocationally as well as professionally?

PC: I use sUAS both in my active research and in my teaching. I also enjoy doing aerobatics with a little racing tricopter, keeps my piloting skills sharp!


Is Durham University looking into potential uses of drones across a number of research areas?

PC: Definitely, I know of at least 5 departments in the University that are drone users: Archaeology, Computer Sciences, Earth Sciences, Geography and Physics. The research areas vary hugely. Many of this is some for of mapping but there is a lot of technical development in Computer vision, photogrammetry and instrumentation.


Could you run us through the key points of your recent study on photogrammetry & georeferencing? What did you find?

PC: Most people will know that if you run aerial stills from sUAS through software like Agisoft Photoscan, you can produce stunning 3D models and stitched images with map coordinates (called orthomosaics) with incredible ease. Traditionally, in order to use these models in any scientific or formal mapping application where strict quality standards apply, you would need to accompany your aerial survey with ground control points. These points are targets on the ground that are surveyed with high accuracy differential GPS. They’re required to reduce the errors in the 3D models to tolerable levels. But this collection of GPS points is time-consuming, it implies that you can reach the area you want to image in 3D (what if you want to survey the inside of an active volcano?) and the GPS kit is expensive, usually above £10,000.

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Flying with the VUFINE wearable display (image courtesy of Patrice Carbonneau)

In contrast, we’ve now reached a point in the drone industry where you can get excellent quality imagery from drones below £1000. So I started wondering if something could be done with the new generation of consumer-grade drones that would bridge the gap and allow us to produce mapping and survey products without the expensive GPS kit. The potential here is huge because it would drop the cost of topography survey. But, the absence of ground control points will have a serious impact on the quality of the 3D models and possibly reduce them to the level of aesthetically pleasing digital objects only useable for visual display and promotional purposes.

So, in the summer of 2015, I teamed up with a colleague at Dartmouth College in the USA, Dr James Dietrich, and we each ran a set of experiments with my Phantom 3 Pro and his Inspire 1. We structured the experiments as to determine the quality limits of 3D models that are produced by directly inputting the aerial stills into the software (we used Photoscan by Agisoft Inc.). DJI drones all stamp the location of the image acquisition into the image EXIF data when the image is saved to the card. If you know where all the images were taken, in theory, you can produce a 3D model with known dimensions and map locations. This approach, where you skip the ground control is called ‘Direct Georeferencing’.


LEARN MORE ABOUT DRONE MAPPING WITH OUR IN-DEPTH BLOG


But does it work? And is it good enough to produce mapping products that can be used in civilian and academic applications? In a nutshell, I think our answer would be, ‘Yes if you know what you are doing’. One pitfall of the new generation of 3D mapping software based on what is called ‘Structure from Motion’ is that it (almost) never fails to produce visually stunning results. But if you look closely at these results, you’ll often find really big errors. So a model that looks great in 3D isn’t necessarily a good mapping product. You really have to know the proper flight patterns to use during the ops, then be on top of the recent academic literature on sUAS photogrammetry and finally, have some skill with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) if you want to go beyond the visually pleasing result and deliver a mapping product that is fit for civilian and academic applications.

DJI Inspire 1 drones are one of the models being used for academic research


Do you believe that the use of unmanned aerial systems positively benefits the gathering of geographical data?

PC: It’s been a game changer in two key respects. First, we can get up-to-date maps in 2D and 3D at very high resolutions (I often use the term ‘hyperspatial resolutions’) without needing to charter full sized aircraft. Second, this ease of mapping means that we can return to a field site and fly it multiple times to see how it evolves with the passage of the years and months. Obviously, the landscape of the Earth changes with time. These changes tell us a lot about the processes that operate to form the landscape and understanding them allows us to formulate predictions about how a field site will evolve. Before sUAS, there were very few studies where people had gone and collected airborne data repeatedly over months and years. It was just too expensive and complex. But now with sUAS being so affordable, there are studies appearing in the scientific literature where researchers have gone back again and again to a field site, done multiple flights, and are now reporting how that site has changed over time. This is just going to become more common and it’s a great boon for all environmental sciences.


How do you think that drones will shape the future of your field?

PC: Like I suggested above, in the short term, they are causing a bit of a revolution in mapping. Airborne mapping is no longer the preserve of big companies and national agencies. In the longer term, who knows? One important thing to watch is going to be how automated flights can be integrated into airspace. Combine that with battery technology and airframe design innovations leading to longer flight times, and we could really see geographic mapping being fully robotised by perhaps 2030.


What improvements could be made to existing drone solutions to help researchers in their work?

PC: Certainly, in my field, good mapping in 2D and 3D relies on 2 key things: the quality of the camera, not just in terms of the raw megapixel count but also in terms of lens and sensor quality and the quality of the GPS position acquired by the drone. So I always watch for improvements to the sensor and lens system of the camera.

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A still image alongside a 3D-model of the same area (image courtesy of Patrice Carbonneau)

The Phantom 4 Pro seems to be moving in that direction, although I haven’t really tested the lens system on mine yet. In terms of position quality, we’re already seeing drones like the Ebee and the Matrice 600 shipping with optional differential GPS. These are still quite expensive, but with time we can expect the cost of these features to drop as well.


Is there a specific software you would recommend for planning your flight missions and visualising the resulting data?

PC: I use a lot of Geographic Information System (GIS) methods to plan my flights. The CAA regulations have many rules that are expressed as proximity limits, such as being 150 meters away from congested areas. GIS software lets you establish buffer zones around specific features that show you the effective no-fly zones you should enforce. This lets you plan flights that are within the regulations. Not only will it let you identify your ops area correctly and within CAA rules, but you can also open your final 2D orthomosaics and digital elevation models and check that everything went to plan.

 


HELIGUY IS AN OFFICIAL SUPPLIER OF DRONEDEPLOY – FIND OUT MORE


 

Most universities have a package called ArcGIS which is commercial, but there’s a free open source alternative that is called QGIS which I also use a lot. Then for actual 3D visualisations, I use another open source package called CloudCompare. This package is specially designed to work with 3D point clouds (the outputs of photogrammetry). It lets you examine your results and, as the name suggests, compare multiple point clouds. This is ideal in cases where you have got the multiple flight data and are in a position to look at changes in a landscape.


What readily available consumer drones would you recommend to people looking to conduct their own research?

PC: So far, it seems that nobody has been able to provide some hard, long-term, competition to DJI. This is true in mapping as well as aerial videography and photography.

When DJI brought out the Phantom 3 series, they got 2 key things right: They abandoned the fish-eye lens and they got the GPS position stamped into the EXIF metadata of each image. This really improves the quality of mapping and it simplifies the workflow. And then, of course, there’s the cost. So you see a lot of Phantom 3s and 4s and Inspire 1s in geography departments.

Phantom3&Phantom4

Phantom 3 and 4 drones are also commonly used by researchers

Personally, I prefer working with Phantoms because they are much easier to handle during air travel and once there, much easier to carry to field sites in cases where you have to hike in.


Are you planning any future projects with drones?

PC: Quite a few. There are two which are now starting up. First, I’m working with colleagues in India to develop an sUAS-based method to monitor pollution in the river Ganges. We’re starting a project which has been funded to mount a hyperspectral sensor (basically a flying spectroscopy lab) on a military grade drone built by the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. Second, I’m starting another project in Portugal, this one more focussed on Archaeology. There are many stone circles around the town of Evora and the soil erosion around these is very bad, so we’re starting a monitoring program that will measure soil loss on a seasonal basis to see exactly how bad the problem really is. We’ll also be doing some photogrammetry of the rock art carvings and again see the conservation state of 7500-year-old relics.

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more exclusive interviews, insights into the use of drones in a commercial setting and, of course, the latest news from the industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/03/27/heliguy-interviews-durham-university/

DroneDeploy VERSUS Pix4D

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With intuitive software solutions taking the commercial drone world by storm, Heliguy has decided to take a look at two of the market leaders to display what they can offer to businesses considering the implementation of drone services. Read on to find out what DroneDeploy and Pix4D can offer and how they could benefit your commercial UAV plans.

There’s a lot of information available about these solutions so we’ve distilled it down to the key points you’ll need to make a decision. We’re available to chat on 0191 296 1024 or info@heliguy.com if you want to learn more after reading this comparison.



DRONEDEPLOY

DroneDeploy is an intuitive solution used to create aerial maps and 3D models. Using their mobile app – which is available on both Android and iOS – it’s possible to transform a range of DJI drones into reliable and powerful mapping tools.

dronedeploy user journey



Product Overview

DroneDeploy‘s software facilitates automated flights from take-off and right through to landing while automatically capturing images that can be uploaded to their software for processing. These stills can be used to create a range of visualised data from 2D maps to 3D models.

DroneDeploy Key Features

  • An intuitive, simple to use solution
  • Affordably priced and feature rich
  • Potential for a greater ROI when compared to its competitors
  • Rapid processing and accurate results
  • Works with a range of DJI drones
  • An all in one drone surveying and mapping solution

THE DRONEDEPLOY APP

DroneDeploy’s mobile app allows users access to automated mapping services which are suitable for both beginners and professionals. Giving you complete control out in the field, their solution is a must-have for those looking to conduct aerial mapping services.

DroneDeploy App Image

The app makes it simple to create flight plans on any device allowing you to launch a mission with automated take-off, flight, image capture and landing. You can keep on top of your flight through a live first person view and are free to take back control of the drone at any time.

Key App Features

  • Intuitive user experience packed with functionality
  • Instantly measure both area and volume
  • Access your orthomosaics, NDVI data, interactive maps and 3D models
  • Collaboration is made easy via shared maps and comment functionality
  • Help is always at hand thanks to DroneDeploy’s in-app support
  • Seamless compatibility with a wide range of DJI drones

These features make it simple to put together a range of data visualisations from orthomosaic, NDVI and digital elevation interactive maps to 3D models. DroneDeploy‘s full functionality suite is available for use through seamless integration with a highly intuitive app, making your aerial mapping projects as easy as the results are accurate.


HOW DRONEDEPLOY APPLIES TO VARIOUS INDUSTRIES

DroneDeploy is a tool for professionals looking to add an intuitive aerial mapping solution to their business plan. See below for examples of how you can successfully use this software in a range of industries.

Inspection, Construction & Mining

DroneDeploy Inspection Gif

  • Automated Flight: Use the free DroneDeploy app (available on iOS & Android) to fly DJI’s drone series
  • Rapid Map Processing: You can upload images from your drone to create a high-quality map
  • Elevation & 3D Models: DroneDeploy allows you to create and analyse elevation maps and 3D models
  • Instantaneous Measurements: Real-time measurement of distance, area and volume are possible
  • Collaborative Focus: Share maps with other users and access a range of powerful tools to turn your insights into actions

Agriculture

DroneDeploy NDVI Gif

  • Automated Flight: Use the free DroneDeploy app (available on iOS & Android) to fly DJI’s drone series
  • Rapid Map Processing: You can upload images from your drone to create a high-quality map
  • Detect Crop Stress: View maps in the NDVI format to detect crop stress and any worrying variance
  • Collaborative Focus: Share NDVI maps with other agricultural professionals and access tools that turn your insights into actions
  • Widely Compatible: Export your maps to a range of precision agriculture software to allow for planning and crop management

Drone Services

DroneDeploy Map CroppingGif

  • Automated Flight: Use the free DroneDeploy app (available on iOS & Android) to fly DJI’s drone series
  • Rapid Map Processing: You can upload images from your drone to create a high-quality map
  • In-Depth Analysis: DroneDeploy gives you access to a number of tools that can analyse data for a range of disparate industries
  • Build A Drone Services Brand: The data you collect can be shared with clients using your own unique brand
  • Widely Compatible: Export your maps to a range of precision agriculture software to allow for planning and crop management

DroneDeploy Measurement Gif


DRONEDEPLOY SERVICE LEVELS

DroneDeploy


Explorer

DroneDeploy


Pro

DroneDeploy


Business


Map + 3D Model Processing

5 / month Unlimited Unlimited

Max Photo Upload per Map

500 1,000 3,000

Max 2D Resolution

5 cm/pixel 2 cm/pixel 1 cm/pixel

Processing Priority

+ ++ +++

Support

Community Email + Chat Email + Chat

Android + iOS Mobile App

yes yes yes

Annotations + Collaboration

yes yes yes

NDVI + Elevation Layers

no yes yes

Volume Measurement

no yes yes

Map + 3D Export

no yes yes

Shapefile + Contour Export

no no yes

RTK + Custom Coordinates

no no yes

User Management

no no yes

Co-Branded Portal

no no yes

Ground Control Points

no no Cost per map


CONTACT US

If you would like to learn more about DroneDeploy or how Heliguy can help you as a licensed re-seller, you can either visit our Enterprise Page or contact us via the details below:

Email: info@heliguy.com

Call: 0191 296 1024



Pix4D

Pix4D has been designed to allow professionals to generate high-quality 2D and 3D data through the use of aerial imagery. The photogrammetry aspect of the software uses the images captured by UAVs to generate results ranging from point clouds to digital surface and terrain models, orthomosaics to textured models.

pix4d user journey

 



Pix4D Products

There is a range of products available for Pix4D all aimed at different markets and professional services. Read on to find out what each of the versions offers and how it could benefit your business.


Pix4D Pro

Pix4Dmapper Pro turns your aerial imagery into a series of precisely georeferenced 2D maps and 3D models. The results are open to customisation, processed accurately and at speed, as well as complementing a variety of applications and software which makes it a truly personalised solution.

pix4d mapper pro features

  • Create 3D Point Clouds: Offering a series of results that are ‘denser’ than traditional laser-scanning, the Pix4D point cloud is derived from a number of overlapping images which gives you precise locational data on your reconstruction of the object space
  • Digital Surface & Terrain Modelling: Pix4D’s digital models provide you with the elevation value of each pixel (with or without above-ground objects) which means they’re prepared to complement your preferred GIS workflow
  • Orthomosaic: Create a high-resolution map utilising each pixel of the original images which are projected onto the digital surface model which means there’s no distortion of perspective, allowing you to access truly accurate geolocation
  • Volume Calculations: You’re able to output calculated volumes which offer a flawless representation of stockpiles, supported by an editable base height, allowing for even more precise measurement
  • Contour Lines: For a quick, simplified visualisation of an area’s topography, this feature lays out a series of contours which roughly display the elevation of your subject
  • 3D Textured Model: Create a model using full-3D triangular mesh and photorealistic texturing
  • Thermography: Generate a radiometrically-precise thermal map with an accessible temperature value for each and every pixel

Pix4Dbim

This product gives you the power to visualise, analyse and verify the ‘as-built’ data on-site using a suite of image processing features which are available both on your desktop or over the cloud. Your results can be studied and shared via Pix4D’s cloud-based server and compared to your original BIM ‘as-design’ concepts.

pix4d bim features

  • Photorealistic 3D Modelling: The desktop version of Pix4Dbim lets you create 3D models, conduct surface and volume measurements, implement contours, and carry out generic visualisation. High-res imagery can be viewed for inspections by simply clicking anywhere on the 3D model
  • Cloud-Based Timeline: As you collect your data it is displayed on an intuitive timeline broadcast over the cloud and allows 2D and 3D data to be accessed, as well as annotated and shared
  • BIM Comparison: You’re able to import drawings into the Pix4Dbim cloud to compare ‘as-built’ orthophotos with ‘as-design’ concepts, which means that construction errors can be spotted before they have a chance to impact the build and schedule diagrams ensure that you’re on track to hit targets

Pix4Dag

Created with agricultural professionals in mind, the Pix4Dag suite has been built to convert multispectral imagery into a series of accurate reflectance and index maps (i.e. NDVI, NDRE) and uses multiple RGB images to generate high-quality orthomosaics. This means that you can easily integrate a number of drone-based solutions into your agricultural ops, with processing carried out locally as and when it is required.

pix4d ag features

  • Generate Reflectance Maps: Reflectance maps are used to capture plant reflectance within specific bands, storing this right down to pixel level and providing information on vegetation health. All of the maps created with Pix4Dag are radiometrically accurate, meaning that any variables (i.e. light intensity, sensor response and sun angle) are identified and accounted for, meaning you’re left with the most accurate reflection data of your crops
  • Index Maps (e.g. NDVI, NDRE): Utilising the data from the previous feature (reflectance maps), index maps combine this information to highlight issues with plant health caused by a range of variable including water stress, nutrient deficiency, pest infestation etc.
  • Orthomosaic: Create a high-resolution map utilising each pixel of the original images which are projected onto the digital surface model which means there’s no distortion of perspective, allowing you to access truly accurate geolocation
  • Application Maps: Collate and visualise the data from your index maps and export them as a shapefile (*.shp) which can be directly imported into farm equipment for application in the field

Pix4Dmodel

Looking for an intuitive, powerful 3D modelling software to use alongside your drone? Pix4Dmodel has everything you’ll need. You can process imagery automatically to create photorealistic 3D models and export fly-through videos and full-textured mesh models to add to a drone showreel which is shareable on your business website and social media channels.

pix4d model features

  • Shareable 3D Models: Export your imagery in a range of file formats ready to upload to various 3D visualisation platforms
  • Fly-Through Videos: Especially useful for a real-estate company, the ability to create a fly-through path allows you to capture a dynamic 3D video that highlights properties inside and out
  • Output Compatibility: You can import Pix4D’s file types (.obj, .fbx, .dxf, ply and 3D pdf mesh files) into a wide range of 3D modelling and animation software
  • 3D Printable Outputs: The meshes you can create with Pix4Dmodel are 3D printable which allows you to develop your design plans rapidly, from architectural models to industrial concept prototypes

HOW PIX4D APPLIES TO VARIOUS INDUSTRIES

Pix4D is a suite of tools for professionals looking for a powerful aerial mapping and modelling solution to add to their business plan. See below for examples of how you can successfully use this software in a range of industries.

Surveying

Pix4D enables you to benefit from the disruptive force of aerial imagery in the surveying and mapping sectors. The software makes obtaining highly accurate results much more time-efficient and provides the scope for intuitive measurement and detailed project analysis.

pix4d surveying

  • Mining: Reduce the danger of surveying mine sites with a more efficient method that can – amongst other use cases – monitor extractions, distribution and disposal without exposing the operator to hazardous situations
  • Mapping: With Pix4D, you’re able to create 2D and 3D results that benefit a range of industries from architecture and city modelling to environmental surveys and emergency service incident monitoring
  • Forensics: It’s crucial to get as much detailed information as possible from a crime scene. Pix4D’s aerial imaging solution gathers this critical data rapidly and effectively allowing for the preservation of visual evidence

Construction

Detailed monitoring of construction sites as they evolve has been made possible by georeferenced orthophotos and 3D data from Pix4D’s software. You’re able to view the ‘as-built’ situation of your site in real-time which ensures up-to-date measurements and targeted analysis, making overseeing site productivity and giving you access to virtual inspections for increased efficiency.

construction pix4d

  • Earthworks: Volumetric analysis, stockpile measurements, and contour data.
  • BIM: Monitor ‘as-built’ site status to stay on task with BIM scheduling.
  • Inspection: Photogrammetry ensures safe and efficient post-flight inspections.

Agriculture

One of the most rapidly growing sectors for drone services, it’s no surprise that Pix4D has focused an entire product on agriculture. Access vital data for quick response and workflow efficiency that will result in better crop yields. You’re able to convert multispectral and RGB images into NDVI maps, and orthomosaics of your fields for complete oversight of your operation.

agriculture pix4d

  • Available Offline or Online: Pix4Dag offers both desktop and cloud processing – whatever the requirements within your operation, you can intuitively adjust the workflow to your needs
  • Access the Index Calculator: Enabling you to access the potential of your multispectral data, you can generate NDVI maps as well as classifying and preparing your own prescriptive maps
  • Integrate & Collaborate: From prescriptive maps to variable application maps, you can export results in a variety of industry standard formats ready for use in farming equipment. Share NDVI maps directly from your browser for collaboration without compromising your privacy thanks to Pix4D’s dedication to user security

Real Estate

Looking to get an edge on the competition? Pix4D allows you to show 3D representations of your properties on the web. You can use the software to pilot your drone, take still and convert these images into photorealistic 3D models. Visitors to your site will be able to easily navigate your models to observe their chosen property from a detailed aerial perspective. You can also create and customise fly-through videos and 3D models to add an extra USP to your service.

real estate pix4d

 

  • Compatible with Consumer Drones: Use Pix4D’s mobile flight planning app to capture the images you need to construct your maps and models
  • Automated Processing: With Pix4D’s app or web uploader, you’re able to send images to the Pix4Dmodel cloud and create detailed 3D models
  • Share Your Work: Oce you have produced a 3D model or fly-through it can be viewed or shared via any browser

PIX4D SERVICE LEVELS

PIX4D MAPPER PIX4D BIM PIX4D AG PIX4D MODEL

Desktop Processing

Unlimited (desktop + laptop) Unlimited (desktop + laptop) Unlimited (1 device) Unlimited (1 device)

Cloud Processing

Unlimited* Unlimited* Unlimited* Unlimited*

Flight Planning

Pix4Dcapture Pix4Dcapture Pix4Dcapture Pix4Dcapture

Flythrough video

Desktop Desktop Desktop Desktop

Orthomosaic

Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud

Digital surface model (DSM)

Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud
Cloud

Digital terrain model (DTM)

Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud
Cloud

3D point cloud

Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud

3D textured model

Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud

2D measurement

Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud
Desktop

2D vector output

Desktop Desktop

Volume measurement

Desktop Desktop

Index map (NDVI, etc.)

Desktop
Cloud
Desktop
Cloud

Timeline analysis

Cloud

CAD drawing overlay

Cloud

Web sharing

Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud

Support

Personal support Personal support Personal support Forum and knowledge base
Desktop

Desktop
Cloud

Cloud
* based on fair usage, 15 projects/month of 150 images @ 15 MP. Conditions may change at any time.


CONTACT US

If you would like to learn more about Pix4D, its potential applications or how it could benefit your commercial strategy, you can contact us via the details below:

Email: info@heliguy.com

Call: 0191 296 1024


Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more information about enterprise software solutions, the commercial UAV market and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/03/23/dronedeploy-versus-pix4d/

NEWS: Yuneec Layoffs & DJI’s Lifesaving Drone Study

newsbanner21032017

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the drone industry. DJI has shown that drones are a real force for good, Yuneec has had to let a large quantity of its U.S. division go and the UK is about to be home to a 24-hour drone unit. That isn’t even taking into account what’s been going on at Heliguy in terms of our Enterprise expansion.

Read on to get yourself caught up with the latest edition of Insider news.


Yuneec Announces Huge U.S. Layoffs

Intel-funded drone manufacturer Yuneec International has recently confirmed that they will be laying off an undisclosed number of employees from their American offices.

yuneec layoffs

Despite the company remaining tight-lipped, rumours circulated by those in the know suggest that they could be letting 50-70% of their employees go. While seemingly a large cut in staffing, they are far from the first drone manufacturer to find themselves in this position with 3D Robotics, GoPro, Parrot, Ehang and Autel all announced redundancies in the past 12 months.

A statement issued by Yuneec reads as follows:

“We concluded that we upsized operations faster than our growth required. [The layoffs] are by no means a negative reflection of our industry or of Yuneec’s business success within the industry, merely we have decided to restructure our Americas division to become a more responsive and healthy business unit which will rely on improved team efficiencies. We will continue to grow our market share and add value to the electronic aviation industry.”

This is an interesting turn of events, after all, Yuneec were recently touted as one of the main threats to DJI, however, their Typhoon H failed to make much of a dent in the Shenzhen tech giant’s market share and it looks like a strategic rethink may be on the cards, especially given a recent funding injection of $60m from Intel.

Heliguy Insider will be following this story as it develops.

 


UK Police Force to Launch 24-Hour Drone Unit

Devon and Cornwall Police are gearing up to offer Britain’s first round-the-clock drone unit to aid investigations, track missing people and take aerial imagery.

cornwall & devon police drones

The plans were brought to the media’s attention when a vacancy was spotted for a manager to head up the unit, which is set to be launched this summer. The advertisement calls the unit ‘operational and dynamic’ and states that it will be run from nine locations across three counties.

This unit is being brought in during a tumultuous time in police funding with warnings that large cutbacks are leaving forces with a severe shortage of senior investigative staff.

 


READ OUR TRAINING INTERVIEW WITH CUMBRIA POLICE


 

Steve Barry, National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman on drones had this to say about the plans:

“I would not be at all surprised if other forces follow in due course – the question is not whether they will, it’s when. There may be an opportunity at some point in the future to rationalise what we need our cops to do because we find drones can do it more effectively and more cost-efficiently…an example of that would be looking for missing people. That opportunity has not yet manifested…there will be a point where that question gets asked.”

 


FIND OUT HOW HELIGUY HELPED POLICE CATCH A PRISON SMUGGLER


 

He also added, backing away from the idea that drones could eventually replace police officers:

“I think it’s a brave senior officer who will make that step that is going to cut cops because they have got drones. If delivering the best service within the budget means using drones for something, a cop is now free to go to that burglary. It’s about freeing resources.”

Devon and Cornwall Police started their drone trials in November 2015, amassing a fleet of four DJI Inspire 1 quadcopters. These airframes were first used in a live operation to search for a missing woman, alongside police dogs and local volunteers. It was reported last May that half of the UK’s police forces are already using drones or planning to do so.

 


READ OUR CASE STUDY FROM THE MID & WEST WALES FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE


 

Drone services aren’t the exclusive domain of the police, however, as over 75% of UK fire services use sUAS, which have already been credited with numerous lives.


DJI Releases Report on Life Saving Drones

DJI have recently released what they are calling ‘the first-ever survey of lifesaving drone activity’. Their investigation has found that UAVs rescued a minimum of 59 people from critical situations in 18 separate incidents around the world.

dji lifesaving drones report

Interestingly, more than a third of those that were saved by drones have civilian bystanders and volunteers who offered their services to emergency service teams to thank for the rescue. This is an important finding as it goes some way to proving that rising consumer drone ownership is a positive trend and offers a nice counterpoint to all the vague ‘near-miss’ press stories still being churned out.

Due to the rising number of drones being used by emergency services and the public at large, DJI’s study has found that the rate of lifesaving actions by drones has almost reached one per week.

Their findings have been gathered by digging into media reports from across the globe which means that there are likely many more cases that haven’t been included. Their report includes examples of rescues on land, water and flooded areas; with sUAS finding missing people, bringing them supplies and, in several cases, providing life jackets or rescue ropes at the critical moment.

You can view the full report below:

https://www.heliguy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lives-Saved-FINAL.pdf

 

For those without the time to read the entire document it concludes with the following statement:

“The clear conclusion is that drones are regularly saving lives around the world. This is occurring even though professional rescue crews are just beginning to adopt UAS technology, and in many cases are relying on bystanders or volunteers to provide lifesaving assistance, DJI is at the forefront in efforts to develop best practices and optimal standards for firefighters, rescue services and other first responders to integrate drones into their command protocols. As these efforts continue, we expect the number of lives saved by drones to continue to grow.”


2017: The Year of Enterprise at Heliguy

Heliguy has years of experience supporting a range of enterprise level clients and is looking to expand these services throughout 2017.

Heliguy Enterprise Banner

We offer the latest commercial DJI products including the all-new Matrice 200 Series built for industrial applications and compatible with their Zenmuse XT and Z30 inspection cameras. We are also a licensed supplier of the DroneDeploy software.

It’s not all about the products, though, with years of experience in training professional drone pilots and providing an exemplary level of after-sales support, we value the relationships we build with our clients.

You can learn more about this on our Enterprise Page which will run you through the industries we can provide support for.

Featured Industries

  • NDVI: Find out about the customer NDVI solutions we have on offer using DJI’s Phantom range of quadcopters.
  • Mapping & Surveying: Learn the relative merits of Photogrammetry and LiDAR and how we can help you kickstart a successful drone mapping service.
  • Thermography: With a number of enterprise level products available as well as a solid knowledge of thermographic principles, we’re your go-to resource for aerial thermal solutions.

Platforms & Products

  • DroneDeploy: We’re a licensed supplier of DroneDeploy meaning that you can benefit from our unparalleled level of customer support as well as exceptional aerial mapping software.
  • DJI Zenmuse XTCreated in a team-up between DJI and FLIR, there’s a range of versions available allowing you to tailor this powerful thermography solution to your needs.
  • DJI Matrice 200 SeriesThe pinnacle of DJI’s enterprise drone range, the Matrice 200 series applies everything they’ve learned from customer feedback into the most powerful commercial quadcopter on the market.
  • Custom Builds: Our in-house technical team are on-hand to offer repairs, support and custom-builds. Have an idea for a bespoke solution? Give us a call and we’ll discuss viability.

Get in Touch

If you want to learn more about what we can offer your business in terms of advice, products or after-sales support you can contact our customer care team using the details below:

Email: info@heliguy.com

Call: 0191 296 1024

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for insights into the marketplace, what we’re up to and, of course, more of the latest news from the drone industry.

 

 

 

 

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/03/21/news-yuneec-layoffs-djis-lifesaving-drone-study/

Comparing The DJI Matrice 200 Series

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DJI’s Matrice 200 series has proved instantly popular with those looking to undertake commercial work with SUAs. With three available models offering various levels of modular functionality and positioning support, there’s a decent amount of choice for those interested in these stellar rigs.

Before you settle on which M200 is right for you, it’s worth taking a look through our comparison so that you’re clued up on all the necessary specifications, features and varied levels of performance so that you make the right decision for both yourself and your business.


The DJI Matrice 200 Series – Overview & Specs

The M200, M210 and M210 RTK have all been designed with industrial end-users in mind, these are enterprise products and aren’t intended for the consumer market. This is clear, not only in their appearance but in their modular construction allowing (in the case of the M210 and M210 RTK) the attachment of multiple sensors to create an unparalleled aerial surveying tool.

Every model is also fitted with an ADS-B receiver (trademarked as DJI AirSense) which improves safety by keeping you informed of any manned aircraft in the area, urgent airspace notices and temporary restrictions that may be in place.

This guide has been designed to provide you with an overview of each of the models and what you can expect in terms of functionality and performance. Here are the specifications for the Matrice 200, 210 and 210 RTK to show how they line up against one another.

Matrice 200
Matrice 200
Matrice 210
Matrice 210
Matrice 210 RTK
Matrice 210 RTK

Package Dimensions

790×390×290mm 790×390×290mm 790×390×290mm

Dimensions (unfolded)

887mm x 880mm x 378mm 887mm x 880mm x 378mm 887mm x 880mm x 408mm

Dimensions (folded)

716mm x 220mm x 236mm 716mm x 220mm x 236mm 716mm x 242mm x 236mm

Folding Method

Folded Inward Folded Inward Folded Inward

Diagonal Wheelbase

643 mm 643 mm 643 mm

Number of Batteries

2 2 2

Weight

3.80KG (TB50)
4.53KG (TB55)
3.84KG (TB50)
4.57KG (TB55)
4.27KG (TB50)
5.0KG (TB55)

Max Takeoff Weight

6.14KG 6.14KG 6.14KG

Max Payload

2.34KG (2 TB50)
1.61KG (2 TB55)
2.3KG (2 TB50)
1.57KG (2 TB55)
1.87KG (2 TB50)
1.14KG (2 TB55)

Hovering Accuracy

P-mode with GPS:
Vertical: ±0.5m or ±0.1m, Downward Vision System enabled; Horizontal: ±1.5m or ±0.3m, Downward Vision System enabled
During safe flights:
Vertical: ±0.5,Downward Vision System enabled: ±0.1; Horizontal: ±1.5, Downward Vision System enabled: ±0.3
P-mode with GPS:
Vertical: ±±0.5 m or ±0.1 m, Downward Vision System enabled; Horizontal: ±1.5 m ±0.3 m, Downward Vision System enabled

Max Angular Velocity

Pitch: 300°/s;Yaw: 150°/s Pitch: 300°/s;Yaw: 150°/s Pitch: 300°/s;Yaw: 150°/s

Max Pitch Angle

P Mode: 35° (Forward Vision System enabled: 25°); A Mode: 35°;S Mode: 35° P Mode: 35° (Forward Vision System enabled: 25°); A Mode: 35°;S Mode: 35° P Mode: 35° (Forward Vision System enabled: 25°); A Mode: 35°;S Mode: 35°

Max Ascent Speed

5 m/s 5 m/s 5 m/s

Max Descent Speed

3 m/s 3 m/s 3 m/s

Max Speed

S-Mode 23m/s; P-Mode 17m/s; A-Mode 23m/s S-Mode 23m/s; P-Mode 17m/s; A-Mode 23m/s P-mode: 17 m/s; S-mode/A-mode: 23 m/s

Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level

2500m 2500m 2500m

Max Wind Resistance

10 m/s 10 m/s 10 m/s

Max Flight Time

27min (No Payload, with TB50)
38min (No Payload, with TB55)
13min (6kg Payload, with TB50)
24min (6kg Payload, with TB55)
27min (No Payload, with TB50)
38min (No Payload, with TB55)
12min (6kg Payload, with TB50)
24min (6kg Payload, with TB55)
23min (No Payload, with TB50)
32min (No Payload, with TB55)
13min (6kg Payload, with TB50)
24min (6kg Payload, with TB55)

Motor Model

DJI 3515 DJI 3515 DJI 3515

Propeller Model

1760S 1760S 1760S

Retractable Landing Gear

Standard Standard Standard

Operating Temperature

-20° to 45° C -20° to 45° C -20° to 45° C

IP Rating

IP43 IP43 IP43

Gimbal Installation

Downward Gimbal Mount

Supported Supported Supported

Upward Gimbal Mount

Not Supported Supported Supported

Downward Dual Gimbal

Not Supported Supported Supported

Gimbals

Compatible Gimbals

Zenmuse X4S; Zenmuse X5S; Zenmuse Z30; Zenmuse XT Zenmuse X4S; Zenmuse X5S; Zenmuse Z30; Zenmuse XT Zenmuse X4S; Zenmuse X5S; Zenmuse Z30; Zenmuse XT

Battery (Standard)

Model

TB50 TB50 TB50

Capacity

4280 mAh 4280 mAh 4280 mAh

Voltage

22.8V 22.8V 22.8V

Battery Type

LiPo 6S LiPo 6S LiPo 6S

Energy

97.58 Wh 97.58 Wh 97.58 Wh

Net Weight

Approx. 520 g Approx. 520 g Approx. 520 g

Operating Temperature

-20°C to 40°C -20°C to 40°C -20°C to 40°C

Storage Temperature

Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C

Charging Temperature

5° to 40°C 5° to 40°C 5° to 40°C

Max Charging Power

180 W 180 W 180 W

Battery (Optional)

Model

TB55 TB55 TB55

Capacity

7660 mAh 7660 mAh 7660 mAh

Voltage

22.8V 22.8V 22.8V

Battery Type

LiPo 6S LiPo 6S LiPo 6S

Energy

176.93 Wh 176.93 Wh 176.93 Wh

Net Weight

Approx. 885 g Approx. 885 g Approx. 885 g

Operating Temperature

-20°C to 45°C -20°C to 45°C -20°C to 45°C

Storage Temperature

Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C

Charging Temperature

5° to 40°C 5° to 40°C 5° to 40°C

Max Charging Power

180 W 180 W 180 W

Remote Controller

Model

GL6D10A GL6D10A GL6D10A

Operating Frequency

2.400-2.483 GHz; 5.725-5.850 GHz 2.400-2.483 GHz; 5.725-5.850 GHz 2.400-2.483 GHz; 5.725-5.850 GHz

Max Transmitting Distance (unobstructed, free of interference)

2.4 GHz:

7 km (FCC); 3.5 km (CE); 4 km (SRRC)

5.8 GHz:

7 km (FCC); 2 km (CE); 5 km (SRRC)

2.4 GHz:

7 km (FCC); 3.5 km (CE); 4 km (SRRC)

5.8 GHz:

7 km (FCC); 2 km (CE); 5 km (SRRC)

2.4 GHz:

7 km (FCC); 3.5 km (CE); 4 km (SRRC)

5.8 GHz:

7 km (FCC); 2 km (CE); 5 km (SRRC)

EIRP

2.4 GHz:

26 dBm (FCC); 17 dBm (CE); 20 dBm (SRRC)

5.8 GHz:

28 dBm (FCC); 14 dBm (CE); 20 dBm (SRRC)

2.4 GHz:

26 dBm (FCC); 17 dBm (CE); 20 dBm (SRRC)

5.8 GHz:

28 dBm (FCC); 14 dBm (CE); 20 dBm (SRRC)

2.4 GHz:

26 dBm (FCC); 17 dBm (CE); 20 dBm (SRRC)

5.8 GHz:

28 dBm (FCC); 14 dBm (CE); 20 dBm (SRRC)

Video Output Ports

USB, HDMI USB, HDMI USB, HDMI

Power Supply

Built-in battery Built-in battery Built-in battery

Charging

DJI charger DJI charger DJI charger

Dual User Capability

Host-and-Slave connection Host-and-Slave connection Host-and-Slave connection

Mobile Device Holder

Tablet or Smart Phone Tablet or Smart Phone Tablet or Smart Phone

Max Mobile Device Width

170 mm 170 mm 170 mm

Output Power

9 W (Without supplying power to smart device) 9 W (Without supplying power to smart device) 9 W (Without supplying power to smart device)

Operating Temperature

-20°C to 40°C -20°C to 40°C -20°C to 40°C

Storage Temperature

Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C Storage Temperature Less than 3 months: -20° to 45°C; More than 3 months: 22° to 28°C

Charging Temperature

0° to 40°C 0° to 40°C 0° to 40°C

Battery

6000mAh 2S LiPo 6000mAh 2S LiPo 6000mAh 2S LiPo

USB Supply Power

iOS: 1 A @ 5.2 V (Max); Android: 1.5 A @ 5.2 V (Max) iOS: 1 A @ 5.2 V (Max); Android: 1.5 A @ 5.2 V (Max) iOS: 1 A @ 5.2 V (Max); Android: 1.5 A @ 5.2 V (Max)

Charger

Model

IN2C180 IN2C180 IN2C180

Voltage

26.1 V 26.1 V 26.1 V

Rated Power

180 W 180 W 180 W

DJI GO APP

Name

DJI GO 4 DJI GO 4 DJI GO 4

Mobile Device System Requirements

iOS 9.0 or later, Android 4.4.0 or later iOS 9.0 or later, Android 4.4.0 or later iOS 9.0 or later, Android 4.4.0 or later

Supported Mobile Devices

iOS: iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4 and iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimised for iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus.
Android:Samsung tabs 705c, Samsung S6, Samsung S5, Samsung NOTE4, Samsung NOTE3, Google Nexus 6p, Nexus 9, Google Nexus 7 II, Ascend Mate7, Huawei P8 Max, Huawei Mate 8, LG V20, Nubia Z7 mini, Sony Xperia Z3, MI 3, MI PAD, Smartisan T1.
*Support for additional devices available as testing and development continues.
iOS: iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4 and iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimised for iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus.
Android:Samsung tabs 705c, Samsung S6, Samsung S5, Samsung NOTE4, Samsung NOTE3, Google Nexus 6p, Nexus 9, Google Nexus 7 II, Ascend Mate7, Huawei P8 Max, Huawei Mate 8, LG V20, Nubia Z7 mini, Sony Xperia Z3, MI 3, MI PAD, Smartisan T1.
*Support for additional devices available as testing and development continues.
iOS: iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4 and iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimised for iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus.
Android:Samsung tabs 705c, Samsung S6, Samsung S5, Samsung NOTE4, Samsung NOTE3, Google Nexus 6p, Nexus 9, Google Nexus 7 II, Ascend Mate7, Huawei P8 Max, Huawei Mate 8, LG V20, Nubia Z7 mini, Sony Xperia Z3, MI 3, MI PAD, Smartisan T1.
*Support for additional devices available as testing and development continues.

Forward Vision System

Obstacle Sensing Range

0.7-30 m 0.7-30 m 0.7-30 m

FOV

Horizontal 60°,Vertical 54° Horizontal 60°,Vertical 54° Horizontal 60°,Vertical 54°

Operating Environment

Surfaces with clear patterns and adequate lighting (> 15 lux) Surfaces with clear patterns and adequate lighting (> 15 lux) Surfaces with clear patterns and adequate lighting (> 15 lux)

Upward Infrared Sensor

Obstacle Sensing Range

0-5 m 0-5 m 0-5 m

FOV

±5° ±5° ±5°

Operating Environment

Large-sized object with diffuse reflecting surface or high reflective rate (>10%) Large, diffuse and reflective obstacles (reflectivity >10%) Large-sized object with diffuse reflecting surface or high reflective rate (>10%)

Downward Vision System

Velocity Range

< 10 m/s at the height of 2 m < 10 m/s at the height of 2 m < 10 m/s at the height of 2 m

Altitude Range

< 10m < 10m < 10m

Operating Range

< 10m < 10m < 10m

Operating Environment

Surfaces with clear patterns and adequate lighting (> 15 lux) Surfaces with clear patterns and adequate lighting (> 15 lux) Surfaces with clear patterns and adequate lighting (> 15 lux)

Ultrasonic Sensor Operating Range

10-500 cm 10-500 cm 10-500 cm

Ultrasonic Sensor Operating Environment

Non-absorbing material, rigid surface (thick indoor carpeting will reduce performance) Non-absorbing material, rigid surface (thick indoor carpeting will reduce performance) Non-absorbing material, rigid surface (thick indoor carpeting will reduce performance)

Now we will look at each model individually. If you have any questions after looking through this guide, our team are available on 0191 296 1024 or info@heliguy.com to help you decide.


DJI Matrice 200

The Matrice 200 is the basic version of this industrial quadcopter which, while lacking some of the additional features of the more advanced versions (i.e. dual and upward gimbal mounting and RTK functionality) is still a sturdy solution which can benefit a range of industrial uses due to its compatibility with the following Zenmuse cameras:

  • DJI Zenmuse Z30: 30x aerial zoom camera designed for inspection work.
  • DJI Zenmuse XT: A team effort from FLIR and DJI enabling highly accurate thermal and radiographic aerial surveys.
  • DJI Zenmuse X4S: Great quality imagery engineered by DJI.
  • DJI Zenmuse X5SThe pinnacle of Zenmuse camera quality, originally designed for the filmmaking with the Inspire 2.

Please Note: The above cameras are compatible with all airframes in this series.

This versatility coupled with an IP43 weatherproofed rating makes the M200 a powerful aerial imaging rig perfect for surveying tasks in challenging scenarios. Add in the dual battery system for added redundancy and on-site safety (as well as compatibility with the new TB55s allowing for extended flight times) and you’re looking at a robust commercial solution.

 

___________________

M200 – Key Features

FPV Camera

Dual-battery System

FlightAutonomy

IP43 Weatherproofing

ADS-B Receiver

___________________

 


DJI Matrice 210

The M210 configuration features everything that you can expect from the standard Matrice 200 with the addition of universal ports and the option for multiple payload configurations. The Matrice 210 enables you to mount dual gimbals underneath the aircraft (e.g. the Zenmuse XT and Zenmuse Z30 for simultaneous zoom imagery and thermal data capture) and you also have the option to top mount a gimbal for a different viewpoint (especially useful for bridge inspections which require an upwards vertical perspective).

Please Note: You can’t use an upward and downward camera simultaneously.

This mid-range model will appeal to the majority of businesses looking to implement one of the Matrice 200 series aircraft into their service offering. It comes with more functionality than the base M200 as standard and, for those not overly concerned about the positioning accuracy of RTK, the Matrice 210 is the ideal industrial airframe.

 

___________________

M210 – Key Features

FPV Camera

Dual-battery System

FlightAutonomy

IP43 Weatherproofing

ADS-B Receiver

Multiple Payload Configurations (Dual and Top Mounted)

Universal Ports

___________________

 


DJI Matrice 210 RTK

The top of the line model in the M200 range is the Matrice 210 RTK. This aircraft is kitted out with everything featured in the both the M200 and M210 including the ability to choose how you mount your gimbals. What sets it apart, however, is the built-in RTK functionality from DJI which, according to the manufacturer, ensures millimetre-precision navigation.

If you’re looking for the absolute best of the bunch, it’s hard to find a more capable industrial rig than the Matrice 210 RTK. Although the price disparity (call 0191 296 1024 for details on costs) between the Matrice 210 and 210 RTK might prompt some businesses to opt for the mid-range model, if you’re willing to invest in this premium aircraft, you will have access to one of the most powerful, adaptable commercial SUA solutions available.

 

___________________

M210 RTK – Key Features

FPV Camera

Dual-battery System

FlightAutonomy

IP43 Weatherproofing

ADS-B Receiver

Multiple Payload Configurations (Dual and Top Mounted)

Universal Ports

Built-in RTK

___________________

 


Matrice 200 Series – Additional Information

Now that you know what each aircraft in the Matrice 200 series has to offer, let’s take a look at some of the peripherals and software that have been developed to work seamlessly with these commercial quadcopters.

A New Generation of Flight Management

Alongside the Matrice 200 range, DJI also announced their new FlightHub software. While information is currently limited, we can confirm that it is a web-based software package which allows teams to share real-time data with offsite colleagues over an internet connection.

Promising an intuitive ‘control centre’, DJI FlightHub will let companies plan flights for entire fleets and keep track of each aircraft’s status. Offsite personnel can monitor live feeds while remotely controlling drone’s camera and gimbal.

DJI Flight Hub

This feature-rich software solution will also reportedly enable managers to plan flights in advance using waypoints and dynamic geofencing.
The applications for this include situation control centres remotely keeping track of teams on the ground or company engineers inspecting infrastructure networks without having to leave the office.

It’s also worth noting that the M200 series is compatible with DJI’s Mobile and Onboard Software Development Kit (SDK), which gives programmers the ability to design customised solutions for flight plans, data collation and analysis.

Compatible Accessories

The Matrice 200 is compatible with a range of accessories, here are some of the most interesting currently being touted by DJI:

DJI Goggles: The M200 series pairs with the upcoming ‘DJI Goggles’, which display an 85-degree view from the drone in full 1080p.

Dual Controllers: The master and slave controller range has been extended to 328ft and users have the option to switch between 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies to ensure greater signal stability.

A Choice of Batteries: The M200 series offers two battery versions – a standard 95Wh version (TB50) and a more powerful version of 174Wh (TB55) with a flight time of up to 38 minutes.

 


Matrice 200 Series – Frequently Asked Questions


 

Aircraft

 

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Applications

 

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Payloads

 

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General

 

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Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/03/17/matrice-200-vs-210-vs-210-rtk/

The Definitive DJI OSMO Comparison Guide

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The success of DJI’s OSMO range has proved that they’re more than just a drone manufacturer. A line of high-quality, handheld gimbals designed to provide both professional filmmakers and enthusiastic amateurs with a shake-free solution to videography – their enduring popularity is a testament to the quality of the OSMO series.

Heliguy has put together a comprehensive guide to help you choose the model that’s right for your needs. But before we delve into the specifics of each model, let’s take a look at how their specifications line up side by side:

Osmo
DJI
Osmo
Osmo Plus
Osmo+
(PLUS)
Osmo PRO
Osmo Pro
Osmo RAW
Osmo Raw
Osmo Mobile
Osmo Mobile

Camera

Model

X3/FC350H X3 ZOOM / FC350Z X5 X5R N/A (It uses smartphones about 58.6mm-84.8mm width and up to 8.4mm thick)

Sensor

1/2.3″ CMOS; Effective pixels: 12.40M (Total pixels: 12.76M) 1/2.3″ CMOS; Effective pixels:12.40 M (Total pixels: 12.76 M) Type 4/3 CMOS sensor Type 4/3 CMOS sensor N/A

Lens

94° FOV 20mm (35mm format equivalent); f/2.8 3.5× Optical Zoom; 22 – 77mm Equivalent; F2.8 (Wide) – F5.2 (Tele); FOV 92° (Wide) – 35° (Tele)
DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH *; Panasonic Lumix 15mm f/1.7 *; Olympus M. ED 12mm f/2.0; Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 *; Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ * (For still photography); Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8; Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 (For still photography)

*Balance ring required

DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH *; Panasonic Lumix 15mm f/1.7 *; Olympus M. ED 12mm f/2.0; Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 *; Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ * (For still photography); Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8; Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8; (For still photography)

*Balance ring required

N/A

ISO Range

100-3200 (video); 100-1600 (photo) 100-3200 (video); 100-1600 (photo) 100-25600 100-25600 N/A

Electronic Shutter Speed

8s-1/8000s (up to 30s when camera is on M mode) 8s-1/8000s (up to 30s when camera is in M mode) 8s-1/8000s 8s-1/8000s N/A

Max. Image Size

4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608×3456 pixels N/A

Still Photography Modes

Single Shot; Photo Burst Mode: 3/5/7 shots; Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames @ 0.7EV bias; Interval; Timelapse; Auto Panorama; Selfie Panorama Single Shot; Photo Burst Mode: 3 / 5 / 7 shots; Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames @ 0.7 EV bias; Interval; Auto Panorama; Selfie Panorama; 9-shot Panorama; Motion Timelapse; Regular Timelapse Single shot; Burst shooting: 3 / 5 / 7 frames; Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7EV bias; Interval (5 / 7 / 10 / 20 / 30s) Single shot; Burst shooting: 3 / 5 / 7 frames; Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7EV bias; Interval (5 / 7 / 10 / 20 / 30s) N/A

Video Resolution

C4K (4096 x 2160) 24/25p; 4K (3840 x 2160) 24/25/30p; 2.7K (2704 x 1520) 24 / 25 / 30p; FHD: 1920 x 1080 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 100p; HD: 1280 x 720 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60p C4K (4096 × 2160) 24/25p; 4K (3840 × 2160) 24/25/30p; 2.7K (2704 × 1520) 24 / 25 / 30p; FHD: 1920 × 1080 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 100p 4K (4096 × 2160) 24/25p; 4K (3840 × 2160) 25/30p; FHD: 1920 × 1080 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60p 4K (4096 × 2160) 24/25p; 4K (3840 × 2160) 25/30p; FHD: 1920 × 1080 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60p N/A

Max. Video Bitrate

60 Mbps 60 Mbps 60 Mbps 2.4 Gbps (Average: 1.7 Gbps) N/A

Video Formats

MP4/MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) MP4/MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) MP4/MOV (MPEG-4/AVC/H.264F) MP4/MOV (MPEG-4/AVC/H.264F), JPEG-Lossless (RAW) N/A

Supported SD Cards

Micro SD; Max. Capacity: 64 GB; Class 10 or UHS-1 Micro SD; Max. Capacity: 64 GB; Class 10 or UHS-1 Micro SD; Max capacity: 64 GB; Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required. Micro SD: Max capacity: 64 GB; Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required.; SSD: 512 GB (compatible with Zenmuse X5R camera) N/A

Gimbal

Model

Zenmuse X3 Zenmuse X3 Zoom Zenmuse X5 Zenmuse X5R Zenmuse M1

Weight

221 g 268 g 526 g 583 g 300 g

Output Power

Static: 9 W; Dynamic: 11 W (with camera) 8 W (with camera) Static: 8 W; Peak: 13 W (with camera) Static: 13.5W; Peak: 25W (with camera) 2.5 W

Angular Vibration Range

±0.03° ±0.02° ±0.02° ±0.02° ±0.03°

Controllable Range

Tilt: -35° to +135°; Pan: ±320°; Roll: ±30° Tilt: -35° to +135°; Pan: ±320°; Roll: ±30° Tilt: -90° to +30°; Pan: ±320°; Roll: ±40° Tilt: -90° to +30°; Pan: ±320°; Roll: ±40° Pan: ±150°; Roll: ±25°; Tilt: -125° to +35°

Mechanical Range

Tilt: -90° to +150°; Pan: ±330°; Roll: -50° to +90° Tilt: -50° to +140°; Pan: ±330°; Roll: -50° to +90° Tilt: -130° to +45°; Pan: ±330°; Roll: ±45° Tilt: -130° to +45°; Pan: ±330°; Roll: ±45° Pan: ±165°; Roll: -50° to +90°; Tilt: -140° to +50°

Battery

Model

HB01 – 522365 HB02 – 542465 HB02 – 542465 HB02 – 542465 HB01 – 522365

Capacity

980 mAh 1225 mAh 1225 mAh 1225 mAh 980 mAh

Energy

10.8 Wh 14.1 Wh 14.1 Wh 14.1 Wh 10.8 Wh

Voltage

11.1V 11.55V 11.55V 11.55V 11.1V

Microphones

Flexi Microphone

Available Available Available Available N/A

Compatible Device (Confirmed)

Sennheiser MKE400; Sony ECM DS70P; Rode VideoMic Pro; Rode VideoMicro; Mymyk Smartmyk; DED DV-889 Sennheiser MKE400; Sony ECM DS70P; Rode VideoMic Pro; Rode VideoMicro; Mymyk Smartmyk; DED DV-889

Now you’ve had a chance to crunch the data, it’s also worth noting what you’re going to get from each straight out of the box – here’s what you can expect:

What’s Included?

Osmo
OSMO
  • Handheld Gimbal and Camera x 1
  • Mobile Device Holder x 1
  • Intelligent Battery x 1
  • Battery Charger x 1
  • Charger Power Cable x 1
  • Storage Case x 1
  • Wrist Strap x 1
  • Shoulder Strap x 1
  • Micro SD Card (16 GB) x 1
  • UV Filter x 1
  • Lens Cap x 1
  • Rosette Protection Cap x 1
  • OSMO – DJI FM-15 Flexi Microphone x 1
  • Manuals
  • Handheld Gimbal and Camera
  • Mobile Device Holder
  • Storage Case
  • High Capacity Intelligent Battery
  • Battery Charger
  • Charger Power Cable
  • Wrist Strap
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Micro SD Card (16 GB)
  • Rosette Protection Cap
  • Flexi Microphone
  • Manuals
Osmo Plus
OSMO+
Osmo Pro
OSMO PRO
  • Osmo – Handle x 1
  • Zenmuse X5 x 1
  • Osmo – X5 Adapter x 1
  • Osmo Pro – Carrying Case x 1
  • Osmo – Universal Mount x 1
  • Osmo Phone Holder x 1
  • Osmo – DJI FM-15 Flexi Microphone x 1
  • Osmo – External Battery Extender x 1
  • Osmo – Intelligent Battery (High Capacity) x 4
  • Osmo – Quad Charging System (Adapter Excluded) x 1
  • Osmo – 57W Power Adapter x 1
  • Osmo – Handle x 1
  • Zenmuse X5R x 1
  • Osmo – X5 Adapter x 1
  • Osmo RAW – Carrying Case x 1
  • Osmo – Universal Mount x 1
  • Osmo Phone Holder x 1
  • Osmo – DJI FM-15 Flexi Microphone x 1
  • Osmo – External Battery Extender x 1
  • Osmo – Intelligent Battery (High Capacity) x 4
  • Osmo – Quad Charging System (Adapter Excluded) x 1
  • Osmo – 57W Power Adapter x 1
Osmo RAW
OSMO RAW
Osmo Mobile
OSMO Mobile
  • Mobile Phone Gimbal
  • Intelligent Battery
  • Power Cable
  • Wrist Strap
  • Rosette Protection Cap
  • Carrying Pouch
  • Manuals

That’s the technical stuff out of the way – now it’s time to look at the features that make these handheld gimbals worth your time and money. So, without further ado, it’s time to have an in-depth look at each product in the OSMO range and what they have to offer.


NAVIGATION

DJI OSMO

DJI OSMO+

DJI OSMO PRO

DJI OSMO RAW

DJI OSMO Mobile


 


DJI OSMO – The Original 4K Handheld Gimbal


 

DJI’s OSMO has become an iconic product for the company. Alongside the Phantom and Inspire ranges, the OSMO has become one of their most recognisable releases.

Offering stabilised footage at up to 4K quality, you’re guaranteed great videos (as well as 12MP stills) via the Zenmuse X3 which comes as standard with the gimbal.

It also helps that it’s highly intuitive with the full range of features available through the DJI GO app which you can access through your mobile device as it’s held in place on the side of the OSMO Handle.

There may have been a lot of updated models released in the ever-growing OSMO series, but the original OSMO still stacks up against the newcomers thanks to DJI’s robust engineering.

KEY FEATURES

When considering the OSMO, here are the most important things to bear in mind:

  • 4K video at 24, 25 or 30fps and 12MP stills as standard with the DJI Zenmuse X3 camera.
  • Unparalleled image and video stabilisation thanks to DJI’s advanced gimbal expertise.
  • Packed with functionality giving you the ability to shoot long exposures and panoramas with ease.
  • Controlling the OSMO is easy using your mobile device and the DJI GO app.
  • The OSMO Handle is also compatible with the X5 and X5R to upgrade it to a PRO or RAW respectively.

WHO IS THE OSMO AIMED AT?

The standard OSMO model has the potential to produce professional quality imagery with its default X3 gimbal but many people are starting to look at it more for the handle itself than the standard setup.

4K video and 12MP stills are certainly not specs to be sniffed at but with more advanced cameras now compatible with the OSMO Handle, we’re finding that serious professionals are more likely to look at the PRO and RAW models.

This isn’t to say that the OSMO doesn’t have plenty to offer. With robust stabilisation and a generous suite of features, not to mention the lower price point, this could prove to be an attractive possibility for those looking for their first handheld gimbal.

HOW DO PEOPLE RATE THE OSMO?

Check out the reviews below from Heliguy’s customers and a range of tech journalists to get an overview of what you can expect:

Paul Wills, Heliguy Customer – ★★★★★

“Superb piece of kit. Amazing quality with full flexibility picture quality is crystal clear and low light performance is better than expected. The way the unit stabilises the picture is extremely clever.”

Richard Lai, Engadget – ★★★★✰

“Simply put, the OSMO offers a complete package that’s both powerful and intuitive.”

Ali Jennings, TechRadar – ★★★★½

“The DJI OSMO gives you the ability to film in a way and style that was only previously possible with professional kit.”

 


DJI OSMO+ (Plus) – An Updated Model With 7x Zoom

OSMOPLUSbanner


 

The OSMO+ was released as an upgrade to the original OSMO with a range of new features including the capability to offer up to 7x zoom. This allows for more flexibility when shooting, getting you closer to the action without the need to constantly be on the move. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the zoom functionality performs a lot better in conjunction with a tripod.

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Guest Post – Drones For Humanitarian Missions

Nicholas Mellor, Heliguy customer and founder of The mCubed Initiative which provides community-based mapping, modelling and monitoring of endangered heritage sites, has provided us with a guest blog outlining the work that he has been carrying out in Mali. The scanning and preservation of landmarks and historical sites have become critical issues as the continued conflict in the Middle East leads to ancient structures of great significance being destroyed by extremists.

As part of our continued look at drones as assets in commercial and practical settings, this guest blog is a collaborative effort between Heliguy and the mCubed Initiative and focuses on the humanitarian benefits of drones as well as what challenges still remain and what the future holds for this technology. This post also appeared on the ELRHA (Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance) site.


The Current Drone Ecosystem

The use of aerial-based systems involving UAVs or drones in a country where there is not a precedent can require extensive consultation. We are at the very beginning of a new era that brings together aviation, robotics and cloud-based applications, creating new challenges and opportunities.

The UK is leading a consultation to explore the broader socioeconomic benefits of drones in the UK – but these opportunities may be even greater internationally, opening up new service opportunities for UK organisations

mCubed recently took their mapping mission to Mali

The UK government has recognised the potential of this field with the launch of a consultation in December 2016 to look at the benefits UAVs can bring, with the aim to:

  • Create the conditions for the cutting edge commercial use of drones
  • Create high-value jobs
  • Encourage the development of drone-based services that could boost the economy
  • Address safety, security and privacy challenges and concerns that drones present

The government’s enthusiasm highlights its potential elsewhere, for example in Mali, where if the use of drones is combined with some local capacity building, the benefits of the aerial based systems could extend the short-term benefits from a humanitarian perspective to longer term economic benefits and crucially creating jobs in the digital economy.


Drones & Humanitarian Work

At The mCubed Initiative we have been looking at how such systems can be safely and responsibly used to support efforts by communities to safeguard and raise awareness and understanding of their heritage assets, within their country and in the wider world – see a short video:

Heritage stewardship is an international priority, with the awareness that innovation and better tools are needed. But how do countries protect themselves against misuse or accidents? How best can we introduce the benefits of such systems in ways that mitigate the concerns about misuse or accidents? Safe and effective use of drones requires good guidelines, regulation and expert training for operators.

In looking at these issues, there is a lot we can learn from other sectors where UAV usage has become much more mainstream. This blog looks at four key challenges facing drones in the humanitarian sector and features comments from UK-based UAV specialists, Heliguy. Uniquely placed to have insights in this field, Heliguy offers a number of drone training courses on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as an approved National Qualified Entity.

We have highlighted four major issues to be addressed including technology, connectivity, trust and regulations.


Technological Compatibility

The complexity of systems integration means that tests need to be carried out to look at issues of compatibility and reliability. There is a trade-off in costs here between IOS and Android; Open source code and proprietary software.

Setting up the Phantom 4 Pro for a demonstration

In our mission critical operations, it has often proven better to go for the tested and supported products even if they are not the cheapest option.


Connectivity and Bandwidth

The trend towards apps and web-based services for image processing is placing a premium on internet access. In many of the places with weak infrastructures, connectivity is limited. This creates a constraint on communications as well as the use of these services. Cloud-based providers of image analytics, such as DroneDeploy are increasingly developing their applications so they can be used offline. At the same time connectivity though 3G+ systems is improving all the time as well.

Calibrating the Phantom 4 Pro in the field

Improving connectivity through methods such as airborne Wi-Fi hotspots would allow for a more streamlined interplay between unmanned aircraft and existing solutions. The ability to use these programmes anywhere would definitively widen their scope of use.


Mistrust of Drones

In some of the countries where we hope to use drones for heritage stewardship, drone use is dominated by the military as opposed to civil applications, and there are examples of consumer drones being weaponised. To address this issue we working collaboratively with a local team, consulting all the affected government agencies and using small drones with a very limited range.

Increasing trust through effective training

Many of these concerns are addressed in existing regulations which govern the safe usage of UAVs, however, we believe the best way to combat the mistrust of drones is to show how useful they are, for exampling creating a 3D model of a structure – capturing details that would be inaccessible by conventional methods – which aids in conservation or reconstruction.


Regulations & Guidelines

With a large and growing drone based industry as well as highly regulated (and congested) air space, the training standards set by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are some of the most demanding in the world. The UK also supports one of the safest aviation industries, period. Both the UK CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have ongoing consultations on future regulations on the use of drones and aim to feed into International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) policy.

Teaching locals to use drones for mapping purposes

Regulations and guidance will continue to evolve. It must be an operator’s responsibility to stay up to date with the rapid shifts in regulation that are occurring throughout the nascent market of drone services. If you follow the above advice, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to make a success of a UAV project whether for humanitarian purposes or an industrial venture.

Training needs to be adapted to introduce drone operations to people keen to explore the potential of this technology for their own needs – in this case; mapping, modelling and monitoring endangered heritage sites in Mali.


Conclusions

We have sought to foster a collaborative approach bringing in partners from academia and industry to gain insights of use case examples from other sectors and other regions of the world.

Test flights under the guidance of professionals

This has involved assessing the current CAA approved training programmes, exploring use cases in the field of aerial archaeology, practical test flights both in the UK and internationally, and reaching out for appropriate guidance within Mali where the main field work has been focused, as well as pioneering a training format to enable local people to experience learning to fly drones themselves.

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more on how drones are being used in a range of sectors, the current state of regulations and, of course, the latest news from the industry.

 

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/03/13/guest-post-drones-for-humanitarian-missions/