Both the DJI Matrice 100 and the DJI Inspire 1 Pro are drones with impressive resumes, but when it comes to usage for industrial applications, one of these drones flies leaps and bounds over the other.
The Inspire 1 Pro, released in 2015, was the first drone created by DJI to have a dual operator setup and made specifically for professional aerial photo and video purposes. It was also the first drone designed by DJI to have the landing gear raised so the camera could rotate 360 degrees and not have gear caught in the frame. However, a major drawback was that the restrictive design allowed no room for customization.
When DJI created the Matrice 100 it was a top priority to design a drone that gave developers unlimited opportunities to customize the drone for their exact needs. The dual batteries were another major addition, allowing for a greatly expanded flight time.
While the Inspire 1 Pro remains a well-liked choice in the commercial industry today, the Matrice 100 upsets the Inspire especially for industrial usage, due to its lengthy flight time and virtually unlimited customizability.
The Inspire 1 Pro is compact and stable but lacks an obstacle avoidance system, a key feature for any pilot who wants to avoid potential damage to their drone. Conversely, the Matrice 100 features the obstacle avoidance system called Guidance, which has sensors reaching all directions at a range of up to 65 feet. The Guidance system can scan its surroundings in real time and provide an accuracy within one centimetre.
A drones customizability is an important factor when it comes to usage in any commercial industry. The Matrice 100 is designed to be fully programmable and open to third party hardware. The Matrice also features a large range of different power and data ports which enables the drone to be fully expandable. Users can customize the payload and add any additional components, from sensors, to cameras and computing boards. Another key feature on the Matrice 100 is that users can create their own apps or programs specifically for their industry. A computer can be added to process data and by using DJI SDK, users can create their own systems for usage in their unique industry.
On the opposite end, the Inspire 1 has a closed system. Users can create their own mobile apps, but cannot customize any other components. The Inspire's inability to integrate with outside software or additions is a huge drawback, especially if purchased for usage in any industrial field.
Flight Time and Battery Life
The Inspire 1 Pro runs with only one battery compared to the Matrice which features dual batteries. The dual batteries enable the Matrice 100 to have a significantly longer flight time than the Inspire. While the Inspire 1 features a maximum flight time of just 18 minutes, the Matrice 100 has a notably longer flight time of up to 40 minutes. The dual batteries also provide redundancy.
Frame and Design
The Inspire is made with aluminum and carbon fibre while the Matrice is made with only carbon fibre. The Matrice therefore weighs less than the Inspire and can carry a heavier payload. The carbon fibre enables both drones to be rigid in flight, reducing vibrations while keeping images steady. Both the Matrice 100 and the Inspire 1 are also designed with quick release propellers and motors. The motors on each drone are powerful to allow for fast and agile flights.
Both drones support all of the Zenmuse X series cameras. The Zenmuse X3 which is a 12 megapixel, 4K video camera, the X5 and X5R which are micro four thirds, 16 megapixel, 4K video cameras, the latter able to shoot lossless 4K, and the XT thermal imaging camera are all compatible with the Matrice and the Inspire..
Overall if you are a researcher or developer, the DJI Matrice 100 outshines the DJI Inspire 1 Pro due to its nearly limitless modification options, obstacle avoidance system, and long-lasting flight time. While both are solid choices if you are in the market for a new drone, the DJI Matrice 100 features a more comprehensive system that has the potential to be built exactly how you choose.