DJI's new Matrice 100 self-guided drone keeps developers in mind

As drones evolve from military applications to playthings and back again, we're seeing an incredible variety of drone technology from waterproof drones capable of withstanding a splashdown to replicas of Star Wars' Millennium Falcon. Drone-manufacterer DJI has released its newest drone, the Matrice 100. This quadcopter uses an onboard guidance system that has integrated ultrasonic sensors and visual cameras. The onboard guidance system is designed to track the drone's environment from all sides, providing 360-degree awareness of its surroundings. Therefore, the drone should adjust its flight path automatically when faced with an impending obstacle.

The Matrice 100 is designed with developers in mind as it can be easily programmed by DJI's software developement kit (SDK). This is DJI's big push to get developers to integrate their drone into various platforms.

The drone guides itself in real-time thanks to five sensor modules that stream data constantly to a central processing board. Using the SDK, developers can even export the drone's environmental data to their own platform.

The Matrice 100 also has expansion bays so developers can integrate their own external devices. With a range of up to two miles and a flight time of up to forty minutes, this drone can cover quite a swath of territory–as long as that area doesn't include the White House. After a DJI drone landed on the White House lawn, DJI added a mandatory firmware update preventing its devices from flying around downtown Washington, D.C.