DJI, Leica and Aibotix to ‘unlock’ aerial surveying

By on 19 October, 2016


A recent market report by ADS Reports estimates that by 2022 the international drone market (also known as RPAS or UAV) will reach USD 21.23 billion, growing at a rate of about 20 percent annually. With market reports regularly supporting this huge growth, manufacturers of drone technologies have been looking to secure market share by establishing strategic partnerships with organisations that may otherwise be competitors.

This was the case again this week when the world’s largest drone manufacturer DJI teamed up with Leica Geosystems and its subsidiary Aibotix to combine their technology portfolios in the aim of driving RPAS adoption in the surveying and construction industries.

Based out of Shenzhen, China, DJI have rapidly risen from a start-up to the leading drone hardware supplier the world over. DJI is most famous for the popular Phantom drone range as well as its growing professional-grade range, the current models of which are now supported by collision avoidance technology.

Leica Geosystems on the other hand, have for over 200 years been a leader of surveying and geospatial technologies, including total stations, GNSS hardware and modelling software. Based out of Germany, Leica’s subsidiary Aibotix have also been busy pushing the boundaries of RPAS technology for high precision applications with their core product, the Aibot X6.

What exactly bringing these organisations together will foster remains to be seen, but it is expected that the innovative Aibotix survey drone hardware will be supported with DJI’s advancements into collision avoidance technology as well as Leica’s software solutions.


Aibotix core product, the Aibot X6.

The official press release details that Aibotix and DJI will collaborate on projects where strong system integration experience will play a vital role in delivering aerial data capture solutions. It also states that by fully leveraging DJI’s innovative aerial devices with Leica Geosystems extensive expertise in high accuracy measurement sensors, “the full potential of UAV technology will be unlocked.”

John Welter, Leica Geosystems Geospatial Solutions Division president, said “the partnership between DJI and Leica Geosystems with Aibotix will redefine the standards in UAV mapping and surveying.”

“The future surveyor will make use of UAV technology; and this partnership accelerates that reality,” he claimed.

Jan Gasparic, DJI director of Strategic Partnerships, said the move will add new perspective: “Our UAV technology helps redefine industries with new perspectives, making the work of professionals safer, faster and more efficient than ever before,” she said.

“We are delighted to be working with Aibotix and Leica Geosystems, with its tremendous history in leading the geospatial industry in pioneering technology. Our partnership will unlock the promise of UAV technology in the surveying industry.

“This is an exciting time for us and measurement professionals around the world.”


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