DroneDJ Weekly: Recap of 2021’s released drones and top stories

This week on the weekly DroneDJ live stream, Yifei, Seth, and site publisher Seth Weintraub discuss this year’s biggest stories and recap what happened in the crazy year that was 2021.

2021 Drone releases, lighter than years past

Most items in 2021 had the same theme – COVID-19 and supply chain issues, which meant a decrease or modified releases from most tech companies across industries. The drone market was the same; we saw nine new drones either announced or shipped this year, most from DJI.

  • DJI Air 2S
  • DJI Mavic 3
  • DJI Mini SE
  • Autel EVO Nano
  • Autel EVO Lite
  • Sony Air Peak
  • Wingtra WINGTRAONE Gen II
  • Parrot Anafi AI

DJI swept the board with most drones released and the praise it got for them. The Mavic 3 was one of the best drones that hit the markets by setting a new standard for what is a prosumer drone. DJI’s Air 2S also made headlines as a worthy upgrade from the Mavic Air 2, and the company’s entry into the FPV market was a great success.

Soon, we should see how good Autel’s new drones are as deliveries are made, and I get my hands on them at CES.

Drone delivery takes center stage in breakout year

It was indeed a breakout year for drone deliveries in 2021, from the first successful lung transport between hospitals to Walmart’s new grocery service. We have seen many companies take on the challenge of delivering items from the air. So what could we see next year? Maybe it will become more mainstream to see a drone land in someone’s front lawn with their groceries in it.

Viral drone news in 2021

The ability for drones to do things other aircraft can’t, helped make some news go viral this year. Let us not forget about the “drone dance” that went around TikTok for what felt like an eternity, even though it was free marketing for DJI.

Some good uses of drones did go viral, like their use to rid the Galápagos Islands of invasive rats. As a result, for the first time in centuries, the native birds of the island won’t be endangered by the rats preying on the young and unhatched. This sort of method to rid invasive rats is moving to other islands in the hope to save more ecosystems.

Of course, drones give a view that no other platform can provide, like getting up close with an erupting volcano. So whether or not you think it was a good financial decision for pilots to crash their DJI FPV drones into the molten rock, the views were pretty incredible.

Make sure to check out our discussion of this year’s top stories over on DroneDJ’s YouTube Channel. Also, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a livestream in the future.

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