DJI Phantom | DJI Innovations
The name Frank Wang may not mean anything to you but if you are a fan of Aerial Photography, Drones or Quadcopters you will have surely heard of the company he founded whilst studying robotic design under the mentor-ship of Prof Li Zexiang for his Master’s degree at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, DJI Innovations. Wang a twice winner of the Robocon award and a Drone hobbyist had a vision of building an unmanned aerial vehicle that could visualize what birds could see. His first attempts ended in numerous crashes and back then you often had to wait months to get replacement parts. Undeterred Wang, whose grades weren’t good enough for him to get a placement at a USA University, persevered and took a Remote Controlled Helicopter he designed and built on a trip to the Himalayas. The flight control system he had programmed with complex algorithms allowed him to fly the craft to the summit of Mount Everest and capture footage that could have only previously be obtained by traditional aircraft. Spurred on by this he set up the Shenzhen based DJI Innovations Company that now employs over 1,500 staff and has offices in the USA, Europe and Japan. When Wang set up his first 80 square foot office with a couple of friends he couldn’t have foreseen that this enterprise would develop into a company with estimated 2014 revenues of US $131 million. The last three years the company has seen its turnover grow exponentially and this is due in the main to the Phantom range of Remote Control Quadcopters. These flying cameras can capture high definition images and the buyers of today are not just the traditional hobbyist that are often associated with RC Quadcopters but professional photographers who are using them in many industries. They have become extremely popular in Real Estate to capture images of property from numerous angles.
It has be widely rumored that Sequoia Capital the venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley have considered investing in DJI with Chairman Michael Moritz likening the Phantom Vision 2 as a flying equivalent of the Apple 2. Chris Anderson former editor of Wired and CEO of rival Drone maker 3D Robotics has said that DJI are the first wave of 21st Century Chinese Companies that the Western World are going have to compete with. DJI are as their name suggests a truly innovative company that unlike many of their Chinese counterparts lead the marketplace rather that copying other people’s products. A number of Chinese and Taiwanese companies are trying to emulate the success of DJI Innovations and the industry is waiting for the release of the latest model from Hubsan Technology the Hubsan X4 PRO H109S Quadcopter which even before its release is being hailed as a true Phantom challenger. The use of these flying machines has literally taken ‘Selfies’ to a new height and enthusiast are publishing images of themselves flying these Remote Control Drones spawning the term ‘Dronies’.