Today we flew our new DJI Matrice 100 for the first time. Matrice 100 is a developer-oriented drone compatible with the DJI Onboard SDK – this means we can have an onboard computer, instead of interacting with the drone via a smartphone connected to the radio controller as we did with the Phantom 4 + Mobile SDK in the past. In the future, this will allow us to perform heavy computations in the drone itself, for example, run deep learning in a superchip onboard, in real time.

Using the Onboard SDK presented a new challenge for us: we had to develop a new UAV client to interact with the Matrice 100, while supporting the features we had previously with Phantom 4. The focus of this field test was to test this new implementation of the UAV client, now written in C++ and running in a Raspberry Pi, which we use as onboard computer.

Being bigger and heavier than the Phantom 4, the Matrice 100 responds less quickly in flight: it takes more time and more distance to “brake” in the air, which we will have to bear in mind on our future conflict detection and resolution tests. This will surely enrich our UTM research and development.