You might soon see DJI's drones flying in particularly rough conditions. DJI has unveiled the Matrice 30 (aka M30), an enterprise-class drone with IP55 dust and water resistance that lets it fly in heavy rain, strong wind and even icy situations. It can fly to altitudes as high as 22,965ft above sea level (with the right propellers) and survive temperatures between -4F and 122F, too. Even the included RC Plus controller can handle a downpour thanks to an IP54-rated body.
The M30 can also fold with a button press. The self-heating battery lasts for 41 minutes, but the charging case can bring the drone from 20 percent to 90 percent in 30 minutes.
DJI's robotic flier will also require little human intervention in some cases. A variant of the M30 will support an upcoming DJI Dock that, like other drone stations, lets the aircraft fly programmed routes and autonomously land to recharge between rounds. You can remotely monitor work sites from the air in areas where beyond-line-of-sight drone use is allowed, in other words. The dock is dust- and water-resistant, includes its own weather station and has both a battery backup and 4G dongle support to keep it running.
DJI is taking orders for the M30 today through a contact form. The dock will be available sometime in the fourth quarter of 2022, and M300 RTK drone owners can also buy a new Zenmuse H20N sensor with "starlight-grade" night vision. There's no mention of pricing, but it's safe to assume individual drone enthusiasts aren't the target market. This is for companies that have the need and budget to fly drones on a regular basis.
Update 3/21 12:05PM ET: The base M30 starts at $9,999 with remote, two batteries, the charging case and a storage case. An M30T with a thermal camera starts at $13,999.