It wasn’t so long ago that the thought of DJI and 3D Robotics (3DR) working together would have been ludicrous. However, 3DR’s pivot to focus on enterprise users with software products like Site Scan created a natural fit for integration with DJI hardware. That fit is being realized with today’s announcement that the two are working together to make Site Scan compatible with DJI drones. Coupled with the launch of 3DR’s Enterprise Atlas platform, it’s clear that the company’s commitment to seeing drones on every jobsite is being taken to the next level.
With this integration, 3DR customers can now use DJI drones to collect data with their mobile app, Site Scan Field. Doing so directly speaks to the desire of organizations like 3DR to be able to offer their customers a complete drone solution, but it’s doing so in a different manner. Hugh McFall, Marketing Specialist at 3DR, mentioned that while the Site Scan user experience is designed to be as frictionless as possible, there’s something to be said for familiarity.
“Our customers need to have the option to use whatever tool fits best with their existing workflow and preferences,” McFall told Commercial UAV News. “The best way for them to collect accurate, actionable data—and get the most out of Site Scan’s features—is to use the drone that they already know how to operate safely and effectively. Now, with both 3DR and DJI hardware, they can do exactly that.”
The recognition of this desire comes from feedback current and prospective 3DR customers have provided the company, and it’s easy to imagine the capabilities of an M200 with Site Scan software integrated into it, much less an Inspire or Phantom. Users will still have the option of utilizing 3DR hardware though, which is comprised of the 3DR Site Scan drone with the Sony R10C camera.
Not being forced into using a specific piece of hardware is something many will appreciate since they’ll be able to use the vehicle of their choice and have a single, centralized platform to fly their drones and manage the data they collect. However, the popularity of DJI hardware is what brought to companies together for this integration in the first place. With that being the case, what’s the reason 3DR is still continuing to provide this option?
“The reason for this is simple,” McFall explained. “With this integration, we’re giving our customers the freedom to use the right tool for the job. Some jobs benefit from obstacle avoidance, for example, while others benefit from using a drone with the best sensor and highest accuracy. Now, our customers have the ability to choose, depending on what their unique needs are.”
Those unique needs are associated with the launch of Enterprise Atlas platform, designed for large enterprises and fast-growing businesses. Enterprise Atlas is set to provide everything that construction and engineering firms need to deploy and manage drone operations, both in the field and when analyzing and sharing the data. That includes secure storage and support but it’s the role & project-based access capabilities that are especially important to highlight.
Role & project-based access has been a particular challenge for many, considering the fact that many organizations consider their drone data to be business assets. They need a central platform that makes it easy to share updates and actionable information with owners, subcontractors and other team members. Deciding and limiting what to share and who to share it with can be a challenge.
“Our customers have been looking for an easy way to make drone data from specific projects accessible to the rest of their team and to various stakeholders,” McFall continued. “Many construction and engineering professionals want to involve their team and various stakeholders and make their drone data accessible to them, but don’t want to compromise security or confidentiality while doing so. Enterprise Atlas helps fix that by making it easy to ensure that the right people have the appropriate data and permissions at every level, from management to owners, employees to subcontractors.”
Chris Anderson, CEO of 3DR, mentioned that Enterprise Atlas in an important step toward getting a drone on every jobsite, which is a topic he talked through in a recent article. It’s something that’s much easier to envision with this integration, since people’s familiarity of DJI hardware will ensure UAVs are able to be adopted that much more easily, while the role & project-based access capabilities of Enterprise Atlas will create efficiencies that can be quantified in numerous ways.
There are plenty who don’t believe that drones are destined to be just another tool, but announcements like the one from 3DR will go a long way toward making that an undeniable reality.