How the DJI Phantom 4 RTK compares against traditional GPS for photogrammetry

How the DJI Phantom 4 RTK compares against traditional GPS for photogrammetry

In the business of managing operations on a construction site, monitoring yields on a farm, or inspecting a roof for damage? You don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars and resort to inefficient, traditional GPS based capture methods — at least according to drone software startup DroneDeploy. The San Francisco-based drone startup Drone Deploy, which makes software to create maps and 3D models using images capturing from drones, released a white paper comparing the elevation and linear measurement accuracy of the DJI Phantom 4 RTK against traditional GPS based capture methods, using a ground-based Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receiver. Their conclusion was that the DJI Phantom 4 RTK drone actually delivers the same — if not, better — results. “Not only can you get accurate results, but in most cases using the Phantom 4 RTK to survey will reduce costs associated with traditional methods, including that spent on labor, hardware, and software,” according to DroneDeploy’s report. “This also comes with the general benefits our customers achieve, such as greater productivity, faster time to insights, improved collaboration, and increased job site safety.” Of course, DroneDeploy does have some skin in the game here, as they sell a product designed to assist in drone-based photogrammetry. But the results of their study are nonetheless interesting. What is the DJI Phantom 4 RTK? RTK stands for “real-time kinematic,” referencing a satellite navigation technique that can enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems such as GPS. It’s used to

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Drone Pilot Ground School’s 2019 drone scholarship offers cash to students

Want to earn some money for your passion in drones? My friends at Drone Pilot Ground School are hosting their 2019 drone scholarship contest open to high school and college students. Their scholarship program is actually comprised of two separate scholarship programs. One will net you with a free online test prep course (worth $300) for the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate test, and a reimbursement for the Federal Aviation Administration exam fee (worth $150), while the other will net you straight cash — and $1,000 at that! For high school students: The High School STEM Scholarship for Aspiring Commercial Drone Pilots targets students who are interested in passing the FAA’s Part 107 exam in order to become a certified commercial drone pilot. Scholarship recipients receive free access to our industry-leading online test prep study program, and we also reimburse the $150 FAA exam fee. The total scholarship value is $450. For current or incoming college students: Drone Technology College Scholarship. This 2019 drone scholarship awards students who are pursuing undergraduate degrees and who demonstrate an interest in pushing the drone industry forward. Two scholarship recipients each receive a one-time $1,000 cash award. Both applications involve answering essay questions and submitting a recommendation letter. More information about the scholarship program as well as the link to apply can be found here. Drone Pilot Ground School is an online education site that launched primary to offer Part 107 exam prep courses, but has since expanded to include other drone-related prep courses, community

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This agricultural drone company strapped a human in a Santa costume to a drone

This agricultural drone company strapped a human in a Santa costume to a drone

In perhaps one of the most bizarre, don’t-try-this-at-home moves of the drone industry last year, the team behind a Latvian drone company last year strapped a 220-pound human dressed in a Santa company to a drone and flew him through the air. That company was 6-person drone startup AirBoard, which makes drones targeted at the agricultural industry. But what does Santa have to do with agricultural drones? AirBoard’s drone, the AirBoard AGRO, is designed to assist in aerial pesticide spraying in steep and mountainous vineyards. Its creators claim the drone can carry up to 60 liters. Flying a 220-lb Santa through the air via drone was their way of proving it to members of the press, rather than, you know, just flying pesticides through the air and spraying them over a field. The company is helmed by Elviss Straupenieks, a young Latvian entrepreneur who started the company when he was 16. (He’s also the youngest person in Latvia to register a business and was named as one of the top 25 under 25 in Europe by Nordic Business Report.) A human-carrying drone! A budding young entrepreneur! That wasn’t the only way that AirBoard CEO Straupenieks pitched himself to me (full disclosure: I get lots of bad, boring pitches from drone companies, so this one truly was fascinating to me). AirBoard CEO Elviss Straupenieks. Image courtesy of AirBoard Straupenieks’ pitched his company using just about every Silicon Valley trope in the book. It’s backed by an investment firm helmed by the

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro discontinued — what does it mean?

DJI Phantom 4 Pro discontinued — what does it mean?

If you have your heart set on becoming the owner of a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, then buy it now. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro has been discontinued. A note has popped up on Chinese drone-maker DJI’s site this week stating: The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is no longer in production. For the latest in DJI technology, please view our product recommendations below. The “recommendation below” links out solely to a DJI Mavic 2 Pro. The Mavic 2 Pro, like the Phantom 4 Pro, was built with professionals in mind. The Drone Girl team personally prefers the Mavic 2 Pro given its light weight and extreme portability (the arms and legs fold up to about the size of a water bottle). And far and away the coolest feature of the Mavic 2 Pro is the drone’s the Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch sensor. The propellers auto-lock as an extra safety feature, one of my favorite under-rated features of the DJI Phantom 4. DJI Phantom 4 discontinued: what does this mean for future products? Many are hoping that the news is a sign that the DJI Phantom 5 will arrive soon. Dji just discontinued the phantom 4 …. the phantom 5 better be on the way hoe — Cinematic (@the_filmlord) March 5, 2019 But others have speculated that supplier problems may be the cause of DJI’s decision to pull the plug on the Phantom, pointing to a tweet from DJI’s Support Twitter account indicating a shortage of parts making DJI unable

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Winnipeg’s Western Drone Show in Canada targets educators (and Drone Girl will be speaking!)

Winnipeg’s Western Drone Show in Canada targets educators (and Drone Girl will be speaking!)

It’s been a big drone news year for Canadians. And building on the massive growth and improvements in Canada’s drone economy, a drone conference is coming to town. The first-ever Western Drone Show, hosted by M3 Aerial Productions, will take place on Friday, May 3 at Winnipeg’s Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre. It’s primarily targeted at drones for educational purposes. Prior to this year, regulations had precluded many school divisions from exploring the applications of drone technology in the classroom. Previously, there was a lack of clarity as to how teachers could integrate drones safely, meaningfully, and legally. But in January, the Canadian government posted a new set of rules around flying drones (specifically ones weighing between 250 grams and 25 kilograms; if your drone weighs more than 25 kilograms you will still need special permission from Transport Canada). The new Canadian drone laws cover topics from licensing and registration to airports. And that’s about to open a whole new gateway for Canada’s educators. The conference is for you if: you might already be aware of some basic applications of drones (like photography) but want to know how drones are reshaping the industry you’re an educator and are looking for an introduction to the drone community you’re a teachers, principal, superintendent or student, curious about the depth and extent of this rapidly developing industry you’re looking to learn how drones can be implemented in the classroom The Western Drone Show conference will have everything from speakers to a trade

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