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Why create the Matrix product line?

Mar 20, 2014
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Boston, MA
This article pretty much explains the Matrix addition to DJI's offerings. I assume based on this that the Matrix-100 is just the first in this family.

Key quote:

"How will DJI keep its drone hardware business from being commoditized by cheap knockoffs? By fostering a drone operation software developer ecosystem with a new $75 million growth equity investment from Accel Partners.

DJI may build variations of its drones for agriculture, oil & gas, mining, and other commercial tasks. But to make sure its drones can handle a much wider variety of use cases, it wants to invite developers to create software to customize its drones for niche use cases. The DJI platform could keep customers locked in to it drones rather than going with whatever’s cheapest."

Why not? The flight characteristics are awesome on the i1 and to bring that to a more modular platform would do wonders for people who don't know how to fly or care to take the time. In a way it kind of reminds of senseFly and the work they do, they try to simplify the UAV itself but have them perform niche tasks and up charge the cost to their customer base, basically if you were a company like Verizon, it may be in your interest to pay upwards 5 digit figures for a proper easy to fly survey drone. The m100 doesn't seem any different in that aspect. The release of the m100 has made me wonder if DJI ever plans on releasing any updated flight controller, like a standalone n1 unit that could be applied to almost any platform but on the reverse side we only know what it can do with a quad maybe DJI found a sweetspot in ease to fly in those, I think they also seem less intimidating than a hex or up platform. I don't know, it seems like an odd release but it would be awesome to have the ability to customize the inspire just because of how it flies, it's just not in the cards, the m100 allows this and full software development.

I really don't think it is a platform geared towards hobby grade use or otherwise just due to the price. You can build the same thing for significantly less money you just won't have the inspire style flights.
Think of this like the heavier truck industry in the US... (over 12.5k GVWR and up)
Bigger then a dually pickup truck... small end examples are units such as the Ford F450, Ram 4500, etc)

Several companies make trucks.... you pick which one you want based on price, dealer support, looks, etc...
You get a truck with a bare frame behind the cab... useless and not even street legal (without mud flaps, fenders, lights, rear bumper)
(I had a 2000 F450 I ran as my daily driver bareback with a heavy bumper hitch for several years... state police had fits over me doing that... :p sold it to a local feed store who flat bedded it... still on the road today... :cool: )

Anyway... you buy the truck... bare...
Then you have them add a body to the frame to do what you want to really do with the truck...
Box, flatbed, dump, service body, tank, RV... the list is in the 1000's... what people do with a truck...
The truck provides a standard mount (frame rails at 34in outside width) along with electrical and other services...
The body adapts the truck to the cargo you haul with it...

So... Here comes the Matrix 100... My opinion... It's a bare "truck"
With 4 of the E800's it's not real small... not real big either... (think F450 of the drone world)
You even get to chose single or dual "fuel tanks" (batteries)
Even a camera is an optional extra it looks like... (i sure hope it's not required to flash upgrade the bird)
It has services including Power and Can bus to interface with the cargo thru the body you added...
And just like modern trucks... you can control the truck using the can bus with no extra wiring...

No... I'm quite sure the market has payloads just waiting for someone to invent a "truck" they can just buy... and use...
But... just like it took years for that 34 inch frame width and basic cab to axle standards of 60, 84 and 120 to become standards...
I'm thinking it may take some time till "truck drones" find some standards that stick and become standards of industry...

I can't wait to see what a 80k GVRW "semi truck drone" will look like someday... :p
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It will be interesting to see how they manage the integration possibilities.
The sweet spot between giving potential customers the flexibility they need and keeping enough control over your platform to protect your investment and ensure reliability is incredibly hard to find.
If its named after john matrix then it has to be good...


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