DJI took the wraps off its latest drone today. Targeting industrial users, the Matrice 300 builds on the company’s Matrice platform, and sports a host of improvements from longer battery life, object detection sensors on all six sides and a 15 km video transmission range.
The Matrice line has long been DJI’s all-in-one industrial product offering. These models are much larger and more utilitarian than its consumer or prosumer line and feature capabilities than align with those markets. Where consumers use drones for photography, industries and public service operations are increasingly looking to drones to gather data.
The Matrice 300 is designed for data collection and aerial surveys. The drone is available with two different camera modules. The H20 features a 20MP camera with a 23x hybrid optical zoom, a 12MP wide-angle camera, and a laser range finder that can read distances from 3m to 1200m. The H20T adds a radiometric thermal camera to the sensor array, giving the drone additional functions.
Integrated functions give the drone automated features such as the ability to automate routine photos — just mark the item on the controller’s screen, and when instructed, the drone will return to the area and take another photo of the object in the same location and angle. Other functions include the ability to track items while they’re moving.
Like some of DJI’s other high-end drones, the Matrice 300 has a dual operator mode allowing two people to control the drone. Or, if needed, operators can switch control to another pilot located on the other end of the Matrice 300’s range, which should dramatically improve its range and safety.
DJI stuffed this latest drone with additional improvements. Collision detection sensors are located on all six sides of the drone giving it 360 degrees of protection. A new controller ships with the Matrice 300, too, that’s loaded with updated flight software that appears to improve pilot control.
Battery life is greatly improved too. DJI says the Matrice 300 has a flight time of 55 minutes, which is up from the Matrice 200’s 38-minute battery life and the 27-minute life found on the prosumer Inspire 2. Dual batteries power the device and allow for hot-swapping packs while the drone is on the ground, but not powered off.
Pricing wasn’t released. The Matrice 300 will ship from DJI dealers in the second half of 2020.