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DJI Dock 2: An Autonomous Drone-In-A-Box

DJI Dock 2: An Autonomous Drone-In-A-BoxPhoto from Unsplash

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The DJI Dock was a marvel, delivering an autonomous drone-in-a-box solution that could quickly and easily perform automatic flights for a number of commercial applications. The new DJI Dock 2 is a great leap forward that deploys stronger and faster drones with even more intelligent capabilities. Using either the DJI Matrice 3D or DJI Matrice 3TD payloads, users can perform automated missions and collect valuable flight data to create comprehensive 3D models. The Dock 2’s cloud-based functions make automatic operations more efficient than ever before.

To help you get to know the Dock 2 and its upgraded features, here’s a guide to all the bells and whistles that come with this latest release from DJI.

Smaller And Lighter Design

In the world of drones, smaller is almost always better. The DJI Dock 2 is an improvement on the original Dock thanks to its reduced size and weight. The Dock 2 weighs 75 pounds and measures 22.4” x 22.9” x 18.3” (L x W x H), packing a stronger punch in a smaller, more portable package. The Dock 2 is 75% smaller and 68% lighter than the previous DJI Dock, which means it can be moved by only two people at a time. The fewer people needed to move and install the drone, the easier and cheaper it is to deploy.

Quick And Effective Evaluation

Part of what makes the Dock 2 autonomous is its ability to perform a quick and easy visual evaluation of the site before deployment. Using powerful vision sensors all around the aircraft, the Dock 2 will automatically scan the surrounding area to determine whether it has strong enough GNSS signals to allow for flight. If you’re trying to find the right site for your flight, then this feature saves you hours of searching, trimming it down to only twelve minutes or less.

Built Sturdy

Drone safety is one of the most important aspects of DJI technology. The Dock 2 is built with DJI’s signature high standards, with an IP55 dust and water resistance rating that protects the aircraft from the surrounding elements. If you’re performing a flight in harsh environments or during inclement weather, the Dock 2 can still operate on a steady and reliable basis for extended periods of time.

Drone safety is one of the most important aspects of DJI technology. The Dock 2 is built with DJI’s signature high standards, with an IP55 dust and water resistance rating that protects the aircraft from the surrounding elements. If you’re performing a flight in harsh environments or during inclement weather, the Dock 2 can still operate on a steady and reliable basis for extended periods of time.

The DJI Dock 2 has better landing stability than ever before thanks to next-gen image recognition technology. This technology helps the drone correctly identify certain positioning markers on the landing pad, making sure it lands exactly where it’s supposed to. The landing pad is also designed with a brand new slide-ramp to make landing more precise than ever before.

Increased Reliability

Reliability is one of the DJI Dock 2’s main cornerstones thanks to features like its built-in backup battery. This backup battery ensures the drone continues to operate for over five hours in case of unexpected power loss. With the guarantee of uninterrupted coverage, you’ll have plenty of time to return the aircraft home and land it safely.

The Dock 2 is also built to last, with maintenance required only every six months of operation. This reduces the expense on human resources and allows you to keep the drone in the air as long as possible before it needs a tune-up. In case something does go wrong with the Dock 2, DJI FlightHub 2 will automatically send an email notification detailing the nature of the task failure or emergency. These immediate notifications allow users to identify the issue and find the right solution as quickly as possible.

Two Superior Drone Models

DJI has designed two aircraft models specifically for the Dock 2: The DJI Matrice 3D and the DJI Matrice 3TD. While the Matrice 3D comes with both a wide-angle and a tele camera perfect for mapping tasks, the Matrice 3TD is equipped with an additional infrared camera that makes it ideal for security and performing inspections.

DJI Matrice 3D

The Matrice 3D comes with two different cameras: a wide-angle camera and a tele camera. The wide-angle camera has a 4/3-inch CMOS sensor that delivers incredible image quality and clarity. The 24mm format equivalent allows the camera to capture the smallest details, while the 20-megapixel effective pixel count ensures stunning resolution. The camera is also equipped with a mechanical shutter, guaranteeing better control over every photo.

The tele camera is powered by a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor and 162mm format equivalent that allows you to see even the most distant subjects up close. The 12-megapixel effective pixel count keeps the detail of the shot even as you capture far-away details.

DJI Matrice 3TD

The Matrice 3TD takes the incredible camera quality of the Matrice 3D and levels it up even further. The wide-angle camera has a more powerful 1/1.32-inch CMOS sensor and 24mm format equivalent that guarantees unparalleled image quality. The 48-megapixel effective pixel count delivers resolution so life-like it almost matches what the eye can see.
The tele camera on the Matrice 3TD has the same specs as the Matrice 3D, but it comes with an additional infrared camera that really takes things up a notch. This camera has a 40mm format equivalent that allows you to witness the hidden infrared landscapes the eye cannot see. The camera operates in Normal Mode at 640×512 resolution and 30 frames per second, while UHR Infrared Image mode brings the resolution up to a stunningly high 1280×1024.

When the UHR Infrared Image function is enabled, the DJI Matrice 3TD automatically toggles the mode on and off based on the brightness of the surrounding ambient light. Lastly, the infrared camera has 28x digital zoom that allows you to spot thermal readings from the furthest reaches the camera can see.

Incredible Flight Performance

Not only does the Dock 2 have the latest and greatest camera and intelligent features, but it’s also designed to make flying as easy and flexible as possible. The Dock 2 comes with an incredibly long max flight time of 50 minutes, which gives you more than enough time to explore the area and perform your mission. It has a max effective operating radius of 10 km, which gives you greater flexibility over where you launch the drone.

The Dock 2 uses an integrated RTK module with +/-3cm positioning accuracy to make takeoff and landing as safe as possible. The 6-directional obstacle sensing system further aids drone safety by identifying and avoiding obstacles in every direction. Lastly, the Dock 2 is capable of running through 400 battery cycles, letting you get the most use out of your battery before replacement.

To Efficiency And Beyond

The DJI Dock 2 comes with a few special features that ensure unparalleled efficiency. The Dock 2 is built with dual RTK antennae, which allow the drone to immediately acquire Return to Home (RTH) location data without waiting for RTK data convergence. The Dock 2 also conducts a quick and thorough inspection of the propellers before takeoff, allowing it to achieve takeoff in around 45 seconds.

The Dock 2 is designed for quick charging as well. The Dock 2 can charge the drone from 20% to 90% in only 32 minutes, allowing you to get back up in the air as quickly as possible in between missions. Lastly, the DJI Dock 2 has a dual-camera monitoring system that allows for real-time display both inside and outside the dock. Using both an internal and external fisheye camera, operators can examine weather conditions and environmental circumstances while also witnessing the drone’s procedures for takeoff and landing.

Intelligent Features In The Cloud

The DJI Dock 2 works together with certain features in the cloud to get the most function out of the aircraft.

Create 3D Maps In The Cloud
With DJI FlightHub 2, you can generate highly precise 3D models based on the data collected during the flight. This allows you to create an authentic restoration of the environment around the drone, which you can then annotate, measure, and download.

Edit Flight Routes
Operators can also use these 3D models to create better and more precise flight routes from a first-person perspective. Users can preview simulated imaging results to make flight route planning more accurate and efficient on future missions.

Perform AI Spot-Checks
You can select a specific area in the 3D model to automatically compare it with the same area in future operations. This feature will automatically adjust the camera angle to make sure it captures the area the same way every time.

Use FlyTo Tasks
DJI FlightHub 2 has a FlyTo task feature that can automatically plan a flight route using your 3D model. Using FlyTo tasks, the operator can click on a subject and the drone will automatically choose the safest, most effective route there.

Live Flight Controls
Operators can use either DJI FlightHub 2 or another third-party cloud platform to control the flight and gimbal angle using a keyboard and mouse. This is true even if the DJI Dock 2 is being used in a remote region.

Automatically Bypass Obstacles
If the drone is performing automatic flight tasks, the omnidirectional obstacle sensing system will automatically bypass any obstacles in the drone’s path. This keeps the drone safe even without the pilot needing to intervene.

Explore The Open Ecosystem

The DJI Dock 2 supports an open ecosystem, which means operators can use either DJI or third-party software and payloads. This greatly expands the potential and flexibility of what the Dock 2 can do.

Third-Party Payloads
Using the aircraft’s E-port, users can connect to third-party payloads like loudspeakers, spotlights, and parachutes to enhance their mission. They can also remotely control the payload using DJI FlightHub 2.

Private Deployment With Cloud API
Operators can either create a customized management system for the DJI Dock 2 using Cloud API or connect it to a third-party platform of their choice.

DJI TerraAPI allows users to combine DJI Terra’s powerful mapping abilities into their personal dock management systems. This allows them to automatically reconstruct 2D and 3D models and to customize photo mapping workflows.

Edge Computing
The DJI Dock 2 has an edge computing expansion interface that allows users to pre-process media files.

Cloud-to-Cloud Coordination
DJI FlightHub 2 has a FlightHub Sync function that operators can use to link the system to a third-party cloud platform. This cloud-to-cloud coordination makes the management of operation data that much more flexible.

DJI Dock 2: Is It Right For You?

With a lightweight, cost-effective design, the Dock 2 is perfect for a number of commercial applications. The DJI Matrice 3D and 3TD camera systems work together with the cloud mapping functions to make surveying a breeze. The open ecosystem approach allows users to create detailed 3D models and work in the cloud to examine and build upon these models. Furthermore, the infrared camera on the Matrice 3TD is an excellent tool for performing inspections and public safety operations. With a lighter design and numerous intelligent features, companies can save resources and money that they would have had to spend setting up and deploying the drone.

With the power of the DJI Matrice 3D and 3TD camera systems, the DJI Dock 2 is a magnificent upgrade from its predecessor. An extended flight time and wide flight radius grant incredible leeway to perform your flight as you see fit. The wide range of intelligent features and third-party compatibility make the Dock 2 a powerful tool for companies looking to cut costs without compromising quality. Order the DJI Dock 2 today to experience the power and potential of this dynamic drone-in-a-box.

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