14 years ago from today in 2006, a university student named Frank Wang founded the technology company named SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd, today better known as simply DJI. Frank Wang, also known by his native name Wang Tao, went to Hong Kong University of Science & Technology at the time, wherein 2015, he and his team got $2,300 to conduct research and develop a drone as a prize for participating in ABU Robocon and achieving third place. This, in turn, put a start to Wang’s entrepreneurship. At first only catering drone enthusiasts with flight modules, which at that time weren’t that easy to come by. While the first drone DJI S800 was released in 2015, DJI really took flight after 2016. Since then DJI has grown exceptionally. Now having factories and distributors across the globe, DJI has become the world’s leading commercial drone manufacturer.
While still producing flight modules, DJI has also expanded its reach to designing and producing flight platforms, propulsion systems, action cameras, camera stabilizers, and gimbals.
For the latter, DJI soon gained the attention of major-league movie producers and cinematographers, revolutionizing today’s filmmaking industry with their innovative technology, gaining producers a cheap and handy way of getting aerial footage. DJI’s work can be seen in many of today’s television shows and music videos, some of them even being Emmy award-nominated.
DJI’s brilliance didn’t go unnoticed either, in 2017 they themselves won an Emmy for Technology and Engineering, from National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. When DJI’s innovative camera drone technology was noticed for creating low latency remote-controlled airborne video platforms for television.
Even though DJI’s main goal at first was to focus on producing unmanned aerial vehicles aka UAV’s for commercial use, its potential soon was also discovered by the law-enforcement, fire department, military, and even archeologists, farmers and construction workers. To this date, their technology is being used actively for various purposes.
It is expected that in the near-future drone technology will be even more widely used. Amazon, for example, is already developing Prime Air, service designed to safely get packages to customers using drones. The sky is the limit when it comes to drones, literally.
However, due to the growing popularity and increasing availability, it wasn’t long until drone technology was also used for illegal or otherwise unethical purposes. This, in turn, caused a lot of controversies whether this kind of technology should even be so easily attainable.
Some countries even went as far as banning drone’s use altogether, while most of them passed laws and regulations to gain some control over the situation. DJI themselves had to implement new firmware to their products, which restricted access to certain areas through a GPS system.
Luckily this had no effect on sales since drone technology is now more popular than ever and DJI is still leading the way. Constantly improving and having a large variety of quality products to choose from, they certainly have earned their place as a market leader.
Let’s have a look at their top 5 most popular products, going into 2020.
-DJI’s nr. 1 product is Mavic 2
Even called the DJI’s flagship by some. Suitable for professionals and enthusiasts alike. It has approximately 31-minute flight time and 8 km of transmission range. It also comes with Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing to avoid collisions. It has two lens options to choose from: Pro and Zoom.
Mavic 2 Pro comes with a 1-inch CMOS sensor Hasselblad camera.
Mavic 2 Zoom, on the other hand, comes with a 12 MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with up to four-times zoom
All this has a price tag of 1379$
-Nr. 2 is Mavic Mini
Best suitable for beginners. It is very light, only 249g. Has 30 minutes of maximum flight time. It comes with a decent 2.7K camera and 4km HD video transmission ability. Also vision sensor plus a GPS precise hover. Simplified recording and editing for beginners.
Has a price tag of only 399$
-Nr.3 Mavic Air
Powerful and portable camera drone. 4K 3-axis gimbal camera and 3-directional environment sensing. Capable of taking 32 MP Sphere panoramas quickly. Includes the SmartCapture feature.
Price tag – 919$
-Nr.4 Mavic Pro Platinum
Ideally for enthusiasts, beginners, and travelers. Foldable and portable. Impressive 4K camera and up to 27-minute flight time. 7KM of control range.
Price tag – 1149$
-Nr. 5 Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
This one is for professionals seeking excellent image quality and industry-leading flight performance. 4K videos, 20MP photos, and 1-inch sensor. Up to 30 minutes of flight time and 8 km of control range.
Really has all the best features and the highest price of 1729$
Even though these are only some of DJI’s available products, it really shows their aim is to make something for everybody.
Although not a UAV, but worth mentioning nevertheless is RoboMaster S1, it was released last year in June, the first-ever consumer ground drone. It comes with a modular design, which gives you the ability to build the device yourself. It aims to be an educational robot that offers endless possibilities through AI technology and hands-on user experience.
What makes this a significant product other than it being first ground drone by DJI, is that it is named after DJI’s annual RoboMaster robot combat competition which DJI founded and has been sponsoring since 2015
DJI’s annual RoboMaster robot combat is held yearly at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre where teams of engineers from colleges around the world gather and compete for the prize pool of 600,000$ and the opportunity to work for DJI.
Providing the youth of engineering with an opportunity to develop and possibly compensate them for the effort, is undoubtedly a symbolic gesture from Wang, considering this is how he started DJI in the first place.
All in all, without a doubt, DJI has earned the respect of many drone enthusiasts and professionals across the globe. While having a look at their achievements, one can easily understand why. DJI’s journey from a dorm room into a drone tech giant is really impressive, to say the least.