When it comes to the consumer drone industry, China’s DJI came, saw, and conquered. Just ask companies like 3D Robotics, Parrot, Yuneec, and GoPro what happened to their drone programs after DJI devices like the Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro came along. Now, DJI is hoping to repeat its success with the enterprise and industrial side of the drone market.
Already, DJI had offered mobile and onboard software development tools that allowed third-party developers to build software solutions on top of DJI drones. Now, it’s adding hardware to the mix–and that is likely to substantially broaden the number of ways businesses use the company’s drones, making it ever harder for its competition to keep up.
Today, it unveiled what it calls Payload SDK, a tool that, in conjunction with DJI’s new Skyport gimbal adapter, allows third party sensors, cameras, and things like air-to-ground communication tools and devices to integrate directly with its M200 series drones. It may seem like an incremental move, but the company is hoping that PSDK will allow it to grab a stranglehold on the lucrative enterprise and industrial drone business–things like agricultural and infrastructure inspection, construction, emergency-management, and much more–by making it easy for third parties to plug their sensors, and the data they generate, directly into DJI’s already robust end-to-end system.
And while many enterprise users were already deploying DJI drones with third-party sensors and applications, they had to jerry-rig them, and it would be difficult to get real-time data from the systems without adding substantial weight in…