We came across photos this morning that seem to show an upgrade to the DJI Inspire 2 drone. Wedged between the batteries and mounted to the bottom of the Inspire 2 is a device that seems to provide 360-degree or omnidirectional obstacle avoidance. It is hard to say if we are looking at a prototype, a test device or whether this is an almost final design. Judging by the photos this may well be the final design and 360-degree obstacle avoidance may be added to the DJI Inspire 2 soon.

Update: somebody with knowledge of the matter has informed us that these photos are from the original design process for what became the Inspire 2. These photos do not show a prototype or anything that is going to go into production. 

DJI Mavic Pro

Detailed photos show new sensors on Inspire 2

Currently, the Inspire 2 features upwards, forwards and downwards obstacle avoidance sensors. The leaked photos seem to indicated that new acoustic sensors and cameras will be added to both the left and right side of the drone and to the back of the drone. Together with the existing sensors, this will result in an omnidirectional, 360-degree obstacle avoidance capability.

DJI combines both integrated visual cameras and ultrasonic sensors that work together and provide detailed information about the drone’s surroundings. This information is then analyzed through a powerful processing core and the most advanced computer vision algorithms in the world, according to DJI. The sensors and cameras shown in the photos, originally posted on kanzhaji.com seem to match the sensors that are currently in place on various DJI drone models and seem to be legit.

360-degree obstacle avoidance or “sense-and-avoid” as DJI likes to call it makes sense (no pun intended) if you consider the price of an Inspire 2 with for instance a new Zenmuse X7 camera system. At that point, your unmanned aerial vehicle is worth several thousand dollars and 360-degree obstacle avoidance provides peace of mind when flying in tight corners or when your drone return to home by itself.

We have reached out to DJI for comment on this article but have not yet heard back from them. We do not think that DJI will announce or release an upgraded Inspire 2 or Inspire 2 Pro at CES 2018 but based on these photos it may not take them long to release this upgrade.

Leaked photos of the Inspire 2 with 360-degree obstacle avoidance sensors

New DJI Inspire 2 with 360 degree omnidirectional obstacle avoidance

Current DJI Inspire 2 on the left. Locations of the new obstacle avoidance sensors shown on the right.

DJI combines both integrated visual cameras and ultrasonic sensors that work together and provide detailed information about the drone’s surroundings.

Information from DJI’s website on the current Inspire 2 sensors

Forward and downward vision systems enable the Inspire 2 to detect obstacles up to 30 meters ahead, allowing for a protected flight at up to 34mph (54kph) at a controllable attitude angle of 25°. Upward facing infrared sensors scan obstacles 16ft (5m) above, adding protection when flying in enclosed spaces. Obstacle sensing systems are active during normal flight, RTH and all Intelligent Flight  Modes.These sensors are core components of the DJI FlightAutonomy system, which brings the below intelligent features to the Inspire 2:

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