Patent news: Is DJI making a drone that won’t fly?

DJI is a juggernaut in the flight-based drone market. However, there’s news it seems that DJI is taking a step out of that space with new patent images.

While DJI may be known universally for their drones and gimbals, the company could be stepping in a somewhat different direction in the new year. While their drones have been airborne for the entirety of the company’s life, DJI could be making a drone that doesn’t fly. In fact, DJI could be making a ground-based camera drone.

A new DJI patent has been discovered

A new Chinese patent has been discovered by Weibo users “Machine Power” and other shows as well. The patent depicts a rugged, land-based machine. It is also holding a suspended, stabilized camera. It almost looks like a small-scale lunar rover with a camera attached to the top of it. Also, likely not surprising, it seems DJI is using its own camera and stabilizer for the vehicle. DJI uses its in-house cameras and stabilizers for the Mavic and its other drones, so it isn’t a shock it is using them for this ground-based drone.

One of the major benefits it seems is the vehicle’s ability to travel rough terrain smoothly. The camera is held by a stabilizer and should operate smoothly. It should be simple to operate and likely lightweight.

DJI faces new competition

DJI’s new patent machine could be similar to Freefly’s ground-based Tero camera system. However, Freefly doesn’t used its own camera and stabilizer. Typically, the Freefly is used to support heavier cameras like the ones from RED with a stabilizer. However, the Tero is a very heavy vehicle. In contrast, DJI’s ground-based drone would likely be much more portable and user-friendly.

All-in-all, it seems like this is a sensible step for DJI. The vehicle would be able to capture ground shots that airborne drones have trouble with. Still, this is just a patent and the actual product may never materialize. This patent news just gives us insight into what DJI is currently researching.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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