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Apr. 12 (NBD) -- Chinese drone company Dà-Jiāng Innovations (DJI) is expanding its efforts in the commercial sector with a Payload Software Development Kit (PSDK) that will allow startups and developers to integrate custom gears onto DJI drones.

The launch of development kit means more business opportunities in the UAV ( unmanned aerial vehicle) domain and UAV firms would be able to reach bigger clients, said Xie Tian, public-relation director at DJI, said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

A software development kit (SDK) is typically a set of software development tools that allow applications for a certain software package, software framework, operating system, similar development platform and so on and so forth. For example, the development of an iOS app requires the iOS SDK.

Chen Dajian, UAV research and development engineer, explained to NBD that SDK is mainly used for secondary development by a third party to architect more features tailored for customers.

The PSDK launched by DJI allows the third-party sensors, cameras, and things like air-to-ground communication tools and devices to integrate directly with its M200 series drones. This service is designed majorly for secondary custom developers and academic institutions to develop payloads specific to their needs.

With the access to PSDK, developers or gear manufacturers can explore various application scenarios so as to develop cameras, sensors, searchlights and other hardware equipment for their customers.

Xie noted that there will arise a large number of developers in the commercial sector in China, not only in the UAV sector, but also in the robotics sector and other industrial domains. But the logics underlying in those sectors are the same. A variety of apps can be used to connect different payloads to carriers like robots and drones, which is a future trend, added Xie.

According to DJI, the company employs 73,000 drone application operators for service and support globally and over 12,000 drone developers in several sectors, and supports and nurtures over 200 professional UAV service institutions and startups.

With the launch of SDKs, the security issue has become a big concern among the UAV industry insiders.

In this respect, Xie told NBD that DJI's imaging system together with each hardware or software which is allowed to be integrated onto DJI drones constitute a close-looped system, which has guaranteed security, to some extent.

As to the use of drones in firefighting, relevant authorities surely have their encryption protocols to ensure information security, and drone companies should abide by such standards, added Xie.


Email: gaohan@nbd.com.cn