FLIR Systems, Inc. today announced a new technology collaboration with established drone industry company DJI Innovations. Under the strategic arrangement, the companies also announced plans to develop their first joint product, the DJI Zenmuse XT stabilized camera featuring FLIR's thermal imaging technology for DJI's Inspire 1 and Matrice aerial platforms.
Combining DJI's Zenmuse stabilized micro-gimbal technology, which has become a common platform for demanding aerial cinematography, with FLIR's popular Tau 2 thermal imaging camera core, the Zenmuse XT will expand the possibilities for commercial drone operators and infrastructure inspectors. Using FLIR thermal imaging on small drones brings new capabilities to dozens of commercial applications, including search and rescue, firefighting, agriculture, wildlife protection, and the inspection of energy infrastructure, bridges, and buildings, according to FLIR.
The addition of thermal imaging provides users the ability to see in complete darkness, measure temperature remotely, and see through obscurants like smoke, dust, and light fog, according to the company. Zenmuse XT users will have the ability to see minute temperature variances – normally invisible to the naked eye – that can signify potential problems in buildings, detect the presence of people or animals, and monitor the health of mechanical and electrical equipment remotely. Its integration with DJI's Lightbridge live video downlink system and the DJI GO app will also give drone operators real-time control and recording during flight.
"FLIR and DJI today support many of the same commercial applications," said Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR. "FLIR is thrilled to work with DJI to deliver these customers a plug-and-play thermal imaging solution for DJI's established ecosystem of unmanned aircraft and related apps while expanding our collective opportunities in the rapidly-growing commercial drone market."
DJI's Inspire 1 and Matrice airframes provide aerial cinematography and development platforms. The same attributes that are designed to set these airframes apart for capturing stunning aerial video – stable flight performance, predictable flight execution, and seamless integration with the popular DJI Go app – also make them ideal thermal imaging platforms, the company says.
"DJI's collaboration with FLIR in thermal imaging signals our intent to innovate in sectors where technology can be a game-changer," said DJI CEO Frank Wang. "The result will be joint, best-in-class solutions that are intuitive and easy to use."
The Zenmuse XT will be available in early 2016 at both DJI and FLIR dealers. You can visit https://www.dji.com/product/zenmuse-xt to learn more.
FLIR Systems, Inc. is known for its design, manufacture, and marketing of sensor systems that enhance perception and awareness. FLIR's advanced thermal imaging and threat detection systems are used for a wide variety of imaging, thermography, and security applications, including airborne and ground-based surveillance, condition monitoring, research and development, manufacturing process control, search and rescue, drug interdiction, navigation, transportation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) detection. For more information, go to FLIR's website at www.FLIR.com.