Remember the modified DJI Mavic 2 Zoom with the FLIR Boson thermal camera, that we covered earlier this year? Well, that was a prototype said Sheldon Holy from UK-based Drone Doctor and now also Revolve Drones. Now they’re back with a new and production ready version, the Revolve Thermal MK.III. The Boson 320 sensor has double the resolution of the sensor in the Mavic 2 Dual (320×240 resolution vs. 160×120), and a much narrower field of view (34° vs 57°). This allows the MK.III to detect a given heat signature at up to five times the distance that the Mavic 2 Dual is capable of, according to Revolve Drones. Keep reading for all the details but this may very well be the best drone for first responders right now, although it seems that new competition may be around the corner with the new Evo Autel 2 and Skydio 2 drones.
The Revolve Thermal MK.III based on the DJI Mavic 2
Today we announce both an exciting new brand and a new drone solution for Public Safety, Search and Rescue and Government service applications.
Revolve Drones is the new sister company to Drone Doctor, the UK’s recommended & authorised DJI drone repair centre. As well as repairing drones, Drone Doctor has long been modifying DJI hardware, as enabled by extensive electronics design knowledge and unparalleled experience in DJI drone repairs.
Along with the launch of Revolve, the Thermal MK.III is officially announced following a year of development and testing. The development of the Thermal MK.III was originally announced by drone news outlet DroneDJ in January 2019. Since then, the MK.III has transformed from a rough prototype to a fully featured end product which has been tested with over 100 hours of flight time, as well as being tested in the field for several months with International Animal Rescue in Borneo.
The MK.III was put into development following the disappointing performance of the Lepton thermal sensor in the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual (M2ED).
At a price point of £3900 / $5000, the MK.III sits just above the M2ED whilst offering vastly superior thermal image quality, with the downside of no radiometric capability. The complete drone is priced at around one third the cost of a DJI M210 and low resolution version of the XT2 camera.
As the first fully integrated Flir Boson and DJI Mavic 2 setup to hit the market, the Revolve Thermal MK.III aims to bridge the gap between the low and high ends of the market, bringing high end thermal imaging to organisations who could not previously afford it, such as volunteer SAR organisations, Fire Departments and private security firms.
Having partnered with dealers and repair centres in Iowa, USA and New South Wales, Australia, Revolve Drones will be able to sell and locally support the Thermal MK.III worldwide.
For more information please contact:
About the Revolve Thermal MK.III
Capable. Reliable. Supported.
The MK.III fills the huge gap in price and capability between the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and the Matrice 210 / XT2 camera. We combine a world class Flir Boson 320 sensor with a proven Mavic 2 airframe.
Flir Boson Integration
The world’s only third party camera integration on a DJI Mavic product. Custom gimbal components, machined from 6061 grade aluminium stabilise a powerful sensor package consisting of a Boson 320 thermal camera with the standard 2x optical zoom camera of the Mavic 2 Zoom. The thermal video feed is transmitted through the Mavic’s systems, so no extra displays, batteries or other equipment is required. A housing on top of the drone contains video processing circuitry.
Designed for finding people, fast with the Revolve Thermal
In an industry first, the Revolve Thermal MK.III is designed both in functionality and price to enable Public Safety agencies, volunteer Search and Rescue teams and government agencies to access high quality aerial thermal imaging. When combined with the 2x optical zoom visible light camera, the MK.III can search a given area vastly quicker than other options with lower quality thermal sensors. Our integration maintains the world renowned portability and rapid deployment of the DJI Mavic platform whilst providing a powerful host of sensors for detecting humans. Selecting between colour palettes and gain settings is instantaneous and completed with the push of a button, allowing users to select the correct camera settings for the situation at hand with unprecedented speed.
Touchscreen Free Operation
Camera systems on the Revolve Thermal MK.III are controlled via a small module which simply plugs into the USB port of the controller. No tools needed. A small status display and buttons provides immediate control of thermal/visual camera switching, thermal camera controls and LED status. Physical controls allows extremely fast and intuitive use of the thermal camera without having to navigate cumbersome menus, ensuring that all users can extract the best performance out of the camera system. The majority of flights can be completed with gloves being worn, a vital feature in SAR use. This image depicts the International Animal Rescue charity using the MK.III to search for forest fires, whilst tracking wildlife in Borneo.
All the lights on the Revolve Thermal MK.III can be switched off with the touch of a button. This feature, when combined with the optical zoom and long range thermal cameras allows the drone to be positioned out of sight, and earshot, of passers by. This enables discreet surveillance which is not possible on larger models of drone, or those with poorer quality sensors.
In the current market for off-the-shelf thermal camera drones, the main offerings in the sub $30,000 market are the Matrice 210 with XT2 camera at the top of this range, which offers excellent capability for a high price, and the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual which offers both a low price with very limited capability. The MK.III aims to fill this gap, with a mid-low price and midrange thermal camera capability. See below for examples on how the MK.III’s Boson sensor compares with the Mavic 2 Dual’s Lepton sensor.
Specifications of the Revolve Thermal
- Specifications as follows are for the thermal camera only. All drone and visual light camera specifications are identical to those of the standard Mavic 2 Zoom.
- Camera: Flir Boson 320 6.3mm lens
- Sensor: Uncooled VOx microbolometer
- Spectral range: Longwave infrared; 7.5 µm – 13.5 µm
- Pixel pitch: 12 µm
- Thermal sensitivity: <60mK
- Resolution: 320×256
- Lens: 6.3mm
- HFOV: 34°
- Colour Palettes: Ironbow, Rainbow, Rainbow HC, FireGrade, White Hot, Black Hot
- Gain settings: High, Med & Low
What do you think about the Revolve Thermal MK.III? Let us know in the comments below.
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