Civilian drones manufacturer DJI has launched a compact supercomputer for its drones, which it said can program drones to fly autonomously and process complex image data onboard.
“Through partnerships with some of the industry’s leading computing companies and chip manufacturers, we are enabling DJI drones to become intelligent flying robots that can perform complex computing tasks and advanced image processing literally on the fly,” said Jan Gasparic, DJI Director of Strategic Partnerships at DJI, in a news release.
Manifold 2 provides intelligence for a variety of applications, according to DJI.
Two versions — one with Intel Core i7-8550U CPU and the other with NVIDIA Jetson TX2 supercomputer on a module – are both compatible with DJI’s enterprise drones, including the Matrice 210 series and Matrice 600 series.
These can be integrated into the drone’s internal systems and sensors using DJI’s software development kit. It then allows open customization and integration into the DJI ecosystem of software and hardware solution providers.
DJI said each Manifold 2 includes USB, UART, CAN ports and more, allowing developers to link multiple Manifold 2 processors and build on top of them to transform DJI drones into specialized aerial robots for specific applications and industries.
“DJI Manifold 2 not only enables the advanced computer vision, perception and navigation featured in Automodality’s patented AMROS and Perceptive Navigation platform suite, it also enables next-generation artificial intelligence out on the edge, a hallmark of Automodality’s software and service offering for industrial inspections,” said Ed Koch, Chief Technology Officer at Automodality, a company developing autonomous drone solutions.
“By empowering the drone to perceive and analyze in real-time, Manifold 2 opens new areas and capabilities and allows Automodality-equipped DJI Matrice 210s to autonomously fly where no one else has flown before, in GPS and radio frequency-denied environments where the most valuable and actionable data resides,” he added.