April 2024 Product Release Blog

April 22, 2024

We’re thrilled to unveil the latest innovations to DroneDeploy in our April Release! From ground-breaking technology like Dock Automation to exciting new integrations with fixed cameras, DroneDeploy’s suite of new cutting-edge capabilities are making the platform more Unified, Automated, and Intelligent like never before. 

DroneDeploy Aerial

Dock Automation for DJI Dock 2 is Here!

With any drone operation, pausing flights to swap batteries and exchange SD cards can hinder productivity–when you simply just need to get the next series of Ortho imagery uploaded for viewing.  To that end, we know that 66% of the time your teams spend on collecting drone data is wasted on these manual processes.  

So when DJI announced plans for a dock solution last year, we pushed our team to build a thoughtful connection to their Dock environment in time for their release schedule this year.  

Fast forward to last month and the long awaited launch of the DJI Dock 2.   We released our Dock Automation solution that allows users with a DroneDeploy subscription and a DJI dock to take advantage of the dock’s new automated workflows.  

So, beyond the Dock 2’s functionality, what can you do today in DroneDeploy with your new dock?

  • Plan a docked drone flight executed in the DroneDeploy interface
  • Remotely monitor all flights with emergency intervention if needed
  • Automatically upload all DroneDeploy flight plans

There will be more amazing features released in the coming months.  But In the meantime, if you would like more information or secure a demo, click here to sign up!

New File Format Support - 3D IFC Support; DXF Lines to Annotations

Last Fall we announced a series of improvements in the DroneDeploy platform that enabled customers to achieve higher levels of accuracy for their large scale heavy civil projects.  Among the list of new features were:  GCP’s in custom coordinates, 3D DXF support, Machine Learning Digital Terrain Models and finally our partnership with Trimble – leveraging their PPK corrections service.  In continuation of our support for these workflows, we are proud to announce two new features that further project collaboration and ease of use within DroneDeploy:

3D IFC Support

In a world of proprietary file formats and standards, the IFC open standard 3D model format has proved to be a necessary staple for contractors to view Tekla Structural models or easily view and share 3D models across platforms - knowing they can be viewed almost anywhere.  

We are happy to announce that now in DroneDeploy you can upload your 3D IFC model file and easily compare it to existing (captured) conditions.  This new functionality unlocks a host of new planning, coordination and quality inspection workflows that were previously not possible in DroneDeploy.

DXF Lines to Annotation Creation

While IFC files are the Swiss Army knife of open source 3D file formats, DXF files are an indispensable open-source workhorse to easily convey 2D linework and metadata that help to articulate boundaries, cut/fill areas and other details to fortify civil and vertical construction workflows.  

Now in DroneDeploy, you can extend that rich detail bound inside a DXF file—and with a single click, convert it to an annotation on top of your captured aerial imagery.  Here are a few workflow examples you can now use in DroneDeploy:

  • Convert linework to annotations for precise and easy volume and cut/fill detail
  • Set-up precise measurement areas quickly from reference design overlays

Mavic 3 Enterprise Stand Count Analysis

Early growth stages for corn and soybeans are a critical time in the plant development cycles—catch a disease/infestation or distressed area early, and you have a better chance of mitigating the problem to save your yield production later during harvest.   And by leveraging the Mavic 3 enterprise's incredible zoom capabilities, we can capture, analyze and report on that crop health in the VE/V3 early growth stages.  

No longer do growers have to manually walk a field, taking pictures and samples to understand the health of their corn or soybean crops.  That same grower can now fly their fields with a Mavic 3 Enterprise and DroneDeploy will capture and analyze the plant imagery and automatically provide a graphical heat map showing any areas of concern.  It’s a massive time saver that can more quickly help growers mitigate problems and save yield production.

If you would like more details on this feature, click here to read our latest post from the experts.

Skydio Extend Integration

For the last three years, users of both DroneDeploy and Skydio have been able to take advantage of Skydio’s Cloud Sync to transfer captured imagery from a Skydio drone to DroneDeploy.  While this functionality from Skydio was a leap forward in the data exchange process, it required manual intervention to initiate the transfer process….and there was no way to select or omit a scan from the sync.  It was all or nothing.

Now with the launch of Skydio’s latest version of their data exchange platform, Skydio Extend, those delta’s have now been updated.  For users of both Skydio and DroneDeploy, you can now automate the sync process by setting a trigger to push data at the date and time of your bidding.  Also, users can now specify exactly which projects to sync and receive a notification once a scan has finished syncing or processing.  

All multi-tasker’s rejoice!

DroneDeploy Ground

Fixed Camera Integration - Open Beta

Enterprise customers can connect fixed cameras to DroneDeploy and view all reality capture data in a single platform! The addition of fixed camera data into the DroneDeploy platform centralizes all reality capture information into DroneDeploy, making it easier for project teams to remotely monitor sites for security purposes, tracking deliveries, and more, all while accessing their aerial and ground data.

Enterprise customers can join the open beta by connecting their fixed cameras using public share links to their DroneDeploy projects from any of these partners:

More fixed camera partners, including SiteKick, CamDo, and Lobster, are coming soon. Check with your CSM to see if your fixed camera platform of choice will be able to connect to DroneDeploy in the future.

Go to our Support Article to learn more. 

Improved platform navigation for Ground users

Ground users are now able to seamlessly navigate the DroneDeploy platform and create projects intuitively to Ground-based workflows.  These improvements include:

  • Start new projects in Interior: For construction projects that may not be capturing with Aerial or on the Exterior, Ground users can now create a new project and skip the step of setting up a project location. However, if a user would like to access the Exerior or Fly tab, they will then be prompted to set a project location first.
  • Skip alignment for Levels: Ground users who are not using Aerial on a project are also able to bypass the alignment step when uploading Levels. For those that choose to align Levels, click on the “Align drawing” button and the alignment pins will default to the bottom left and top right of the drawings. Users can then align to any Drawing, Level, or Orthomap.
  • Organize Levels into Folders: Ground users can now organize Levels into Folders for easy navigation. Additionally, users can designate which Overlay on a Level is the Base Floor Plan.

Insta360 X4 Support

Insta360 just released their newest camera, the X4. DroneDeploy will support this very soon, pending the SDK. Some of the major improvements for this camera include:

  • 72MP 360 photos - X4 uses AI (PureShot) to process 72MP photos in camera, delivering high quality images
  • 11K timelapse - shoots in 2fs Timelapse mode for rapid walk-throughs of any areas.
  • Improved dynamic range - provides clarity and depth to capture scenes, and greater detail in challenging lighting conditions
  • Longer battery life - 67% longer run time with massive 2290 mAh battery

Once supported, to connect your X4, simply log into the Ground Mobile app and select the X4 from your Nearby Cameras or from the list of compatible cameras.

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