Big Name Firms Enter Drone Industry

By UAS Magazine Staff | November 16, 2015

Microsoft Corp. and high-end camera maker Hasselblad have entered the unmanned aircraft systems market through partnerships with major small unmanned aircraft vehicle platform manufacturers.

DJI has acquired a strategic, undisclosed minority stake in the Sweden-based camera firm because the two “share a passion to provide creative people with cutting-edge, inventive technology to help them take visual storytelling to the next level,” according to Frank Wang, DJI founder and CEO. DJI is no stranger to camera creation. Earlier this year, it released a product called the Zenmuse X5. The Zenmuse X5 features a three-axis gimbal stabilization system and a sensor that allows for eight times greater pixel clarity than any previous DJI versions.

There has been no official word on the next step for DJI and Hasselblad, but each will continue designing and manufacturing their products in their current locations. Hasselblad will continue building cameras in Sweden while DJI will continue to make its platforms in Shenzhen, China.

Aeryon Labs Inc., a Canada-based sUAS manufacturer, has formed a tech-based partnership with Microsoft. The SkyRanger, Aeryon’s sUAS, will be paired with Microsoft’s advanced patrol vehicle that is made for law enforcement and emergency personnel. The Microsoft Advanced Patrol Platform vehicle is equipped with a tablet and mobile device that provides information and real-time intelligence. The MAPP vehicle was designed, in part, by law enforcement officials.

“Including SkyRanger within MAPP vehicles rounds out the comprehensive suite of technologies and highlights the value of aerial intelligence for ground-based personnel,” said Dave Kroetsch, Aeryon president and CEO.