Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone-related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, and Electrek.
A recreational drone pilot assisted in a police-organized search and rescue operation and found a missing girl with his drone in the UK. The hobbyist drone operator has received a Chief Constable’s Citizen’s Commendation Award from the police for his help. expand full story
In a Tweet from a few days ago, a photo and video are shown of what seems to be a weaponized DJI Matrice 210 that was allegedly seized by the Taliban from Afghan security forces during a night raid in the Garamsir district of the Helmond province in Afghanistan.
Correction: an earlier version of this article erroneously said it was a DJI Matrice 200 when it is in fact an M210
UK police warn criminals: ‘You won’t be able to hide from our new drone’
In the UK, the police have warned criminals, “You won’t be able to hide from our new drone,” which can track suspects fleeing crimes such as burglary and robbery. As part of a new drone team at the Nottinghamshire Police, 15 officers are being trained as drone pilots. Once the officers arrive at the scene of a crime, a drone can be deployed within eight minutes.
A drone helped a hurt hiker rappel 400 feet during a daring rescue at Snow Canyon State Park in Utah on Sunday. It was the first time an unmanned aircraft was used this way by the Washington County Search and Rescue team.
Update: we just got confirmation from the Washington County Sheriff Search and Rescue that the drone in question was a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual with an aftermarket drop system. Impressive!
DJI introduces Zenmuse XT-S, a new high frame-rate thermal imaging camera
While we were all in shock of the FAA’s NPRM for Remote ID for drones, DJI quietly slipped this piece of news by us. It even seems that the Chinese drone maker forgot about the DJI Zenmuse XT-S themselves because the information is not yet up on their website, even though they do provide a link to it.
Leave it up to DJI to surprise us with a special promotion, the DJI Spring Sales Promotion. Right in the dead of winter, the Chinese drone maker offers discounts as high as $300 on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Zoom, and other products such as the DJI Osmo Pocket and DJI Osmo Action. The DJI Spring Sales Promotion started today and runs until the end of the month. You can find all the details below.
CES 2020 in Las Vegas was a great place to meet up with people in the drone industry and you always learn something new. One of the things we picked up this time, is that the DJI Matrice 300 is rumored to be launched in late February. It seems that DJI realized that after a number of reports came out of crashing DJI Matrice 200 / 210 drones, it was time for an updated and improved version. In the days after CES, we have been able to confirm these rumors through a secondary source.
The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise receives a new firmware update that includes ATTI mode. This is a first in the DJI’s Mavic line up and will surely make many commercial drone operators happy. ATTI mode or Attitude mode is often used to make the drone fly smoother through turns when recording cinematic shots, or when flying in urban areas with a lot of interference and poor GPS reception, and as a failsafe to stop fly-aways. The DJI Phantom Series (DJI, Amazon) even has a dedicated switch for ATTI mode.
DJI released a new firmware update (v01.00.0650) for the DJI Smart Controller (DJI, Amazon), which offers a number of nice new features. However, it does not offer support for the re-released DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (DJI, Amazon) yet, unfortunately. Hopefully, the Chinese drone maker will add that soon. Other new features include the QuickFly function which as the name implies gets you flying faster. There’s also SkyTalk that enables you to live stream from the drone to third party apps. For all the details and other features read the release below. Be sure to update your DJI SMart cOntroller with the DJI Assistant 2 and not directly through the device.
Just this morning we came across this video interview in which Joshua Bardwell interviews Dave Messina and Josh Cook from the FPV Freedom Coalition and talks about how the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed rules for Remote ID for drones end the FPV hobby as we know it. If you’re an FPV pilot or if you are interested in learning more about how the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) is a threat to our ability to fly drones, not just for FPV pilots than this is a great interview to watch or listen to.
The main topic of discussion over the last few weeks has been the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Remote ID for drones that was released right after Christmas last year.
The NPRM as laid out in the 319-page document has the potential to put the future of drone innovation in the US at risk, according to DJI. The Chinese drone maker states that it strongly supports Remote ID for drones, but “not like this,” and warns people against the FAA’s “deeply flawed” NPRM.
DJI releases version 1.0.6 of the DJI Fly App
Yesterday, DJI released its latest version of the DJI Fly app, version 1.0.6 for both iOS and Android. The update seems to be focused on improvements and bug fixes. No new features are mentioned that would bring new capabilities to the popular DJI Mavic Mini.
Yesterday morning we got up early and instead of going back to CES, Paul from Drone U and I went to an area right outside the controlled airspace of Las Vegas to fly the all-new Autel EVO 2 with the 8K camera. Here are our first impressions. Keep in mind that we were flying this foldable quadcopter with a beta version of the app. Autel Robotics told us that they will keep updating both the software and firmware before launching this drone by the end of January for $1,445. expand full story
As expected, Autel Robotics launched their new Autel EVO 2 drone at CES this morning. It comes in three different variations that include up to 8K video and a thermal camera option. Read almost all the details, we’re still waiting for pricing and availability, of this exciting new drone below. The ball is now in DJI’s court and we’ll see what they come out with when they’re ready to launch the DJI Mavic 3 Pro.
At CES 2020, DJI will showcase a wide product portfolio, Including newly incubated Livox Lidar technology. Livox sensors’ groundbreaking new scanning method offers better performance at a fraction of the cost enabling innovation in autonomous driving, mapping, mobile robotics and more.