I think most of the drone world is in awe and in shock with the quiet release of the new DJI Phantom 4 RTK today.

It looks every bit the joke that drone users had shared, and if I am totally honest, I’m still not 100% sure that DJI aren’t playing the drone world for fools. Although, there is much information on legitimate sites, and very DJI videos on YouTube, so if this is some sort of joke, they have gone to great lengths of trickery and I can only congratulate them.

DJI Phantom 4 RTK and Controller

Is this the surveying machine of the future?

The DJI Phantom 4 RTK is billed as the newest drone for aerial mapping and aerial surveys. It boasts RTK technology offering centimetre accurate positioning allowing for less, or in some cases no ground control points. To us drone geeks, thats good news.

Of course, it would be no good putting the RTK system on an old Phantom 4 Standard with its rolling shutter, so DJI have equipped the new drone with a 20MP mechanical shutter, allowing for further time savings, as now flights can be made without needing to stop and hover.

The controller now includes DJI GSR which appears to be an on board version of the iPad app DJI GS Pro packed full of features for aerial surveying and aerial mapping. And mobile SDK is available, so the possibilities do look endless.

A video from a European technology group, Strabag, on DJI’s official YouTube channel shows the ease of process of the new Phantom 4 RTK for construction surveying. It shows ease of date transfer using cloud technology to get the data back to the surveyors in the office, and then back to the construction site so that any changes can be implemented.

With a rumoured price of between £3000 and £3500, then the same again for the ground control unit, its a costly expenditure, and I’m sure only time will tell if it lives up to its price tag.