DJI Autonomous Drone Dock – Mission Impossible? Not Anymore
The DJI dock is essentially a movable base station that acts as the home-based landing pad and charging station for a Matrice M30 or M30T drone.
When closed for transportation, it measures 805mm X 895mm X 840mm and is a hefty 90kgs in weight. The top half unpacks much like a tradies toolbox: the two top sections moving out to the sides, revealing the landing pad on top of the centre section. Folded out for operation the width goes to 1675mm, while the height comes down to 530mm.
That 90kgs of weight speaks power and provides the unit with wind resistance up to 15m/s (54kph). The drone itself can land in winds up to 12m/s (43kph). The Dock is a marvel of modern technology with fans to cool the drone batteries, allowing the M30 to be automatically recharged from 10% to 90% in 25 minutes, and therefore be ready for the next mission. The Dock contains a backup battery providing 5 hours of power, and certain peace of mind.
The DJI Drone Dock has a built-in weather station, but that doesn’t mean it’s afraid of the elements, with IP55 ingress protection, 40kA surge protection on the AC power port, built in antennas that give its M30 drone a 7 km flight radius up to the drone’s service ceiling of 7000 metres (just on 23,000 feet), and an inbuilt 1920 X 1080 resolution security camera with 180 degree field of view.
Aside from the anemometer in the weather station, sensors provide information on rainfall, temperature, water immersion, in-cabin temperature and humidity, and vibration. Sadly, it doesn’t make coffee.
The worker-bee of this dock, the incredible Matrice M30 drone has a multitude of built-in advanced back-up redundancy systems, including the ability to land with only 3 of its 4 rotors, and return to base if one of its 2 batteries fails. It’s gimbal and cameras have wide angle (4K/30fps – 12 megapixel ½ inch CMOS sensor), zoom (5X to 16X optical zoom), and laser range finder (3m to 1200m range) capability on all 6 sides (forward, aft, left, right, up, down), while the 30T adds thermal imaging.
With safety a high priority in the potentially high activity areas in which this machine might operate, for example, in a bushfire or flood situation, the M30 has built in ADS-B capability that will provide information on position, altitude, heading and velocity of other manned aircraft within a 20km radius, and send that data to the operator.
Automatic upload of high quality visual (or thermal) data is assured with an array of 4 antennae, each one capable of performing the task.
Drone missions can be programmed or modified via DJI’s Flighthub software meaning that repetitive inspections, security functions, searches, indeed, whatever mission you dream up, can be safely and repetitively executed from the comfort of home or office, with zero risk to the operator.
Our Final Opinion on this Gadget
DJI autonomous drone dock – a rugged and reliable 24/7 solution that provides a truly remote and safe work drone experience.
Either with a standard RJ45 network port, or a DJI cellular module with 4G capability (where available).
Yes, it can be controlled by a DJI RC Plus remote controller.
No, the system is designed for the drone to take-off and land from the same dock.