‘Fun’ video of drones at work in DJI offices draws viewer raspberries

DJI drone video

Fans of DJI are known to be passionate and loyal to both the brand and its products, but they may also be at risk of seeming just a bit literal – possibly to the point of, if not humorless, at least over seriousness. Or at least that’s the vibe in responses to an online video trying to have a bit of fun by evoking DJI offices populated with drones working among employees.

The short video was uploaded to the Reddit r/drones forum Thursday by an unidentified user under the title “Drone applied in DJI daily work.” The 24-second clip opens with company UAVs zipping down a hallway in opposite directions above RobotMasters churning their way across a carpet that was clearly chosen for its stain-hiding capabilities rather than aesthetic appeal. Burned-in text and a short voice-over are both in Chinese, offering little content clues to viewers who don’t command the language. 

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The apparently hand-held camera used then swings around a corner into a reception area featuring a backlit, can’t-be-missed DJI logo on the wall.

Up to that point, all UAVs involved have been buzzing at fairly rapid clips, and at altitudes – the rather low ceiling obliging – that explain the absence of any strolling employees who’d have come off worse for wear from any unscripted encounters.

Humans then enter the video as the camera advances into a well-staffed workspace, above which DJI drones shuttle payloads held in dangling square containers to desks. A close-up then focuses on one of the UAVs lowering what one presumes is lunch to an employee whose ample hair begins blowing wildly right on cue – albeit from behind, not above.

Mission accomplished, the re-ascended craft performs a snazzy pirouette before advancing out and into the initial hallway, where it and other drones close out the video speeding off above ambulatory DJI workers.

Rather clearly a staged production, with some of the drone activity looking like it could have been computer generated and added in post-production. Plus, the guy taking delivery of his lunch? Right out of Casting Central’s “hair just waiting for mussing” department. But still, fun, right?

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Not according to the general tone of r/drone commentators, who tended to hurdle right over the playful spirit of the video to point out myriad flaws in it – not to mention decry the very notion of DJI or any other drones speeding around a work area.

“Ohh yes nothing says ‘nice calm working environment’ like reallllly loud and dangerous blades hovering a few inches from your head,” said UltraShortRun, whose use of surplus consonants probably indicates a degree of jocularity in his criticism.

Adding a regulatory touch to the predominantly unapproving remarks, vendeep noted, “I can feel the noise through the screen. Also get ready for workman comp cases for cuts and bruises.”

“Not in China,” replied Plane_Vanilla_3879, getting even more legalistic (not to mention political) in response. “No such thing as workman comp.”

Other comments focused instead on the visual clues betraying the video was a performance, not a documentary on DJI’s drone-filled offices.

“It’s CGI obviously,” said TheChoonk. “Notice how there’s paperwork all over the place but it doesn’t move when drones fly over it?”

“The dude’s hair blowing is also just wrong,” noted Breakfast_on_Jupiter of the employee who now will forever be called “Fluffy” by coworkers. “The wind isn’t coming evenly downward from above him, more like from beside and below his head, blowing his hair up.”

“The last shot of the hallway door has no drones in the reflection of the glass,” said the sharp-eyed HELLO_MARS_ITS_YOU in calling out a computer-generated detail when he sees one. “Frightening yet cool concept though.”

In response, RealWeekness bucked the generally frowning reviews in admitting he’d taken the video at face value, and had been impressed by the skills of whomever he believed had piloted the drones in DJI’s relatively tight office spaces.

“Oh dang. I thought they were really flying in there,” he copped, proving to be a good sport on all counts (including the video’s intended entertainment objectives). “The movements were really precise so i assumed it was automated but I’ve been fooled – nicely done DJI, nicely done!”

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