Barcelona once again hosted February’s annual Mobile World Congress, a show the organiser’s claim to be the world’s biggest and best mobile industry event comprising of a massive exhibition, an award-winning conference and outstanding networking opportunities. However, among the regular announcements of the latest handsets from the likes of Samsung, HTC, and HUAWEI; superfast 5G networks from mobile phone operators; and keynote speeches from the industry’s leading executives, there was a new player in town. This new player wasn’t an expected guest or in the form factor of a mobile phone but a series of enterprise drone from the world’s leading manufacturer of unmanned aerial technology, DJI. You may ask what exactly a remote controlled flying device has to do with the ‘world’s biggest and best mobile industry event’ but the answer is relatively straight forward and can be found in the device’s application.

DJI’s first fully sealed IP43[1] classified M200 series drones, basically meaning that their enclosure provides protection against objects up to 1mm thick and spraying water, are perfect for cell tower inspections combining DJI’s expertise in both drone-making as well as imaging. The M200 drones are portable with a folding body that’s easy to set up and stow away. It’s also loaded with sensors facing down, up, and forward to help it avoid obstacles but you can add even more sensors to its payload for additional capabilities like thermal imaging.
Aerial inspection
Aerial inspection at the Telefonica cell tower in Barcelona CREDIT DJI

The drones are also ideal for other tasks such as:

Critical Infrastructure Inspections – such as work near power lines and bridges where inspectors are put at risk from falling from a height or suffering an electric shock. When coupled with a device such as DJI’s Zenmuse Z30 with a 30x optical zoom, inspection work can be done safely from a distance.  The M200 can identify millimeter-sized faults in buildings, roads and bridges in real time, making those operations more safe, efficient and effective.
 Image taken with Z30
Image taken with Z30 at x1 CREDIT DJI
 Image taken with Z30
Image taken with Z30 at x30 CREDIT DJI

Energy Facility Inspections – maintenance planning can be both costly and time-consuming. The M200 series, especially the M210 RTK with exceptional stability, can be used to capture unparalleled detail of vertical infrastructures, such as wind turbines and offshore oil rigs.

Construction Site Mapping – surveying and mapping often need to be conducted regardless of weather conditions and other external factors. The M200 is a rugged platform designed to handle tough conditions. The M200 gives construction site managers an efficient tool to review progress and workflow, ensuring more efficient use of resources.

Public Safety – when time is of the essence and weather conditions turn foul, first responders require a versatile and reliable aerial platform. Carrying visual and/or thermal sensors, the M200 provides situational awareness of potentially dangerous situations such as fires, searches and natural disasters. Incident commanders can use data collected by the M200 to make smarter and better decisions, protecting life and property while minimising the safety risk to rescue personnel.

Drones have quickly become a standard part of the enterprise toolkit and industrial users have come to rely on DJI technology to efficiently collect aerial data,” said Paul Guo, Director Enterprise Solutions at DJI. “With the M200 series, DJI introduces a holistic solution designed specifically for these users. We are revolutionizing professional workflows by making it possible to use advanced sensors in various combinations to make sophisticated tasks such as bridge inspections, land surveying and search-and-rescue missions, easier, safer and more reliable than ever before.”

Keep an eye out for one of these devices being used near you in the not too distant future.