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DJI's Business Practices

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There was a thread where @Dave Pitman and others where discussing some of the developers and accuracy of RTK systems like LOKI for the Phantom. I met with AirGon, who developed the LOKI, at the AUVSI show in Dallas to discuss integrating their solution on our drones.  They were very polite but the general attitude was that they worked well enough on Phantoms, why would anyone buy one of our drones?

There are lots of reason they would but that's not the point of this thread.  A better question is now that the rumor is DJI is about to release an RTK version of the Phantom4 why would anyone buy a LOKI?

DJI has done this to every technology partner they've had since the Zenmuse gimbal, the GoPro on the original Phantom, all of the third party app developers using their DTK and now LOKI.  Not only that, the integration of all of the third party development into DJI is unbelievably bad.  

Users seem to confuse convenience, although I hardly think the problems with all of the firmware upgrades a convenience, with effectiveness.  I truly feel for companies who invest so much time and effort in developing things that will improve users overall experience only have DJI engineer out the need for your product in the next revision.  

Maybe by concerns are not well founded.  Maybe each of them made so much money in the short term it doesn't matter.  

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Unfortunately any discussion about the ethics of DJI never seems to gain any traction, it goes mostly ignored.  Either I have to reshape my tinfoil hat or people generally feel powerless to question the prerogatives of governments and corporations.    

If people don’t hold DJI accountable for its questionable business practices then they will continue them with impunity.  They won’t stop with the vendors they”ll eventually move to the customers.  There’s no law against competing with your own customers but it will generally start where the application effects companies who are less price sensitive, thereby effecting fewer users, and work its way down the broader market.  This will have a profound effect on competition and if people don’t speak out against this in its early stages there will be nothing you can do by the time it effects you.


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I recall seeing this article about Parrot along with 5 other companies being selected by the DOD to develop a drone for the US army

and from what I understand the other 5 companies that were selected are

  • Skydio
  • Altavian
  • Teal Drones
  • Vantage Robotics
  • Lumenier

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