DJI's Ambition Embraces Drones as Tools, Not Just Eyes in the Sky
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
DJI's Ambition Embraces Drones as Tools, Not Just Eyes in the Sky

(Yicai Global) March 1 -- While attending the Mobile World Congress for the first time, DJI Technology Co. unveiled its Matrice 200 (M200) drone series, demonstrating the Chinese company's ambition to produce unmanned aerial vehicles that can do more than just take aerial photos.

The M200 can be used to inspect, survey and map out facilities. Performing checks of power and telecoms facilities will be one of its major applications.

"There are a lot of areas in which we can combine drones with telecoms," DJI Vice President Xu Huabin told Yicai Global. "We'll step up investments in applying telecom technologies and expanding the application of drones in the telecoms industry."

"DJI began to enter the commercial market last year to find more industrial clients," said the person in charge of DJI's booth at this year's MWC in Barcelona, Spain. Many telecoms carriers and industrial clients are asking about the new products, she said.

In fact, a growing number of telecoms companies and vertical industry clients are willing to cooperate with drone makers like DJI.

"We've also worked with carriers in areas such as base station inspections," she said. UAVs can help to reduce the need for manpower and make inspections safer and more accurate.

A technology executive at DJI showed Yicai Global a set of solutions to help China Mobile Ltd. [HKG:0941] examine its base stations with DJI's drones, which can provide a clear picture, solving the problem of inaccessibility to humans.

"We've been expanding the application of drones apart from aerial photography since late 2015, with increasingly refined work," Xu told Yicai Global. For large customers such as telecoms and power companies, DJI will use a concentrated promotion model and technologies that are more suited to the integrated management model of such firms.

The arrival of 5G will also lead to closer cooperation between the drone and telecoms industries. To help channel distributors adjust plans in light of customer demand, DJI will ship M200 starting from the second quarter of this year.

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