Weekly UAS News Update: DJI Dock 2,

Welcome to your weekly UAS News Update. This week we have three stories for you: the 2 that was finally released (we talked about this in the last couple weeks), Helios getting approval to do a drone swarm, and lastly, announces a new delivery system. So let's get to it.

DJI Dock 2 Finally Released

First up this week is DJI's new Dock 2. The Dock 2 is a smaller, more compact version of the original Dock with very similar capabilities. It's 75% smaller and 68% lighter, which is a big deal, than the original DJI Dock. It also comes with two available aircraft. DJI released the Matrice 3D and the 3DT, which is the thermal version, along with the Dock 2, allowing for nearly any kind of mission to be completed using the Dock system.

The is set up very much like the Matrice 3 Enterprise, with a 4/3″ CMOS sensor and a 1/2″ CMOS telecamera. The Matrice 3DT itself mimics the Mavic 3 Enterprise Thermal. It has a 1/1.32″ CMOS sensor and a 1/2″ CMOS sensor with a telecamera, and of course, a 640×512 thermal sensor. The batteries on both of the aircraft are advertised to last for 50 minutes and have 400 charge cycles.

DJI also advertises that the control for the Dock is done through a US-based AWS server for maximum security. Let us know in the comments what you think about the new Dock. I hope we can get our hands on one of those and be able to test it.

Hylio Gets Approval for Drone Swarms

Next up, Hylio has gotten approval to operate drone swarms. Hylio makes several spray drones that have a small 2.5 gallon and up to 18 gallon tank. The price ranges from $18,000 to $56,000 respectively, with additional accessories further increasing the price.

Hylio's latest FAA approval allows them to operate several drones larger than 55 pounds at the same time simultaneously. It's unclear at the moment the specifics of the waiver authorization, but that's actually a pretty big breakthrough when it comes to working in agriculture.

If you don't know, operating just one drone for agriculture actually makes it not the best as far as return on investment, but being able to operate a swarm of them at the same time is going to make it a lot more competitive compared to the traditional ways of spraying different areas in agriculture.

DroneUp Announces New Delivery System

Last up this week is DroneUp, with a release of a locker system that's called a DBX that will replace the Operation Center that they're currently using. DBX acts as a location that companies can use to send packages out of and then has a maximum capability of 50 packages per hour. A drone then delivers the packages to the customer and returns to a different location to either charge up or to get the battery swapped. This allows a network of drones to operate as a hub and then also pick up packages at the store and other locations and deliver them to customers.

Let us know what you think in the comments. I have to wonder what kind of FAA authorization exists already for this kind of operation, which sounds like it would be fully autonomous. I know DroneUp has some approval, but a lot of them are pretty limited and still I think require having a visual observer.

That's all we have. Happy Easter! If you use your drones to hunt for eggs this Sunday, just be careful not to fly over people and make sure that you don't hit the Easter Bunny or the bells. That's it, see you next weekend!

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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