DJI launches a new onboard drone computer for enterprise users

DJI this morning announced the latest version of its Manifold on-board drone computer. The second-generation device can be programmed for myriad different enterprise purposes, from research to routine inspections.

The Manifold 2 packs either an Intel Core i7 or Nvidia Jetson TX2, integrating with the built-in sensors on the company’s Matrice 210 and 600 series drones. They’ve also got a variety of ports, including USB, UART and CAN, allowing users to connect multiple devices together for greater processing power.

The system essentially lets the drone do a lot of the necessary processing on-board, allowing for complex tasks, including real-time data and image processing. It also can be used to program the systems to avoid obstacles and fly autonomously in otherwise inaccessible situations, per DJI.

The system is available now via DJI’s site, at $1,379 for the Intel version and $1,099 for the Nvidia. It offers a compelling proposition to companies looking to get a bit more from off-the-shelf drones. It’s going to be an increasingly key category as more and more look to these technologies for routine inspections and other dull or dangerous jobs requiring a bird’s-eye view.

Because not every company has the means or know-how to create custom drone solutions, many will no doubt be looking to DJI for a more accessible solution.