Autel EVO II

Is DD going to integrate this drone, seems its going to be a very hot drone soon!!! Autel said they realsed their SDK to all

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For Professional Drone Service Providers, software integration is critical for complex jobs. Large jobs (100+ acres) with lots of elevation change require terrain following (or multiple launch points). Skyscraper inspections you want facade mission planning like in Ugcs. I can go on.

Posting some map you made with this drone is not impressive. That’s the photogrammetry software doing the work, not the drone. If the compatible piloting software is limited in selection and functionality, this drone is a dead-end for many Commercial Drone Service Providers doing more than making maps and taking real estate photos/video.

The fact I’m the first one to reply in so long indicates to me there’s not a high enough demand for DroneDeploy to bother with this drone. If DD won’t bother with it, neither will Pix4D or Ugcs.

DJI is not necessarily the end all, but having a long-standing history, large selection of compatible software, and large user community are all very valuable. Easy to get caught up in the hype of “the latest” specs.

If I could see some significant detailed reviews/discussions from Commercial Services Pros who have used this drone extensively, especially from the piloting software functionality/reliability, only then would I even begin to ponder a purchase decision.

This is the usual response to a new drone. You might do a little more research before being so critical. Autel robotics has been in the drone game for quite a while and has some pretty comprehensive flight software. Being able to map, perform inspections, take really good photos and videos I am not quite sure there is a whole lot more that a standard mapping drone is going to do. What are people going to use when the phantom 4 goes dark or is retired? Maybe more importantly this drone will pass certification for the US government.

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I did research the drone. On paper the specs are impressive and better than DJI. My criticism is mainly from the actual application of the drone from a technical commercial services standpoint.

One of serveral reviews I read prior to my post on dronezon.com pretty much summed it up.

“There Autel 2 has more intelligent flight modes than the Autel 1. However, it doesn’t match the Mavic 2 for variety in autonomous flight modes.”

Better specs aren’t going to help that much if the inferiority of the software features makes it so you’re less efficient at completing the job.

The firmware also has bugs but that isn’t surprising given it’s a relatively new product. Would I rule out buying one in the future after more maturity in the firmware and controller software, of course not. But my personal opinion thus far is it’s not ready for “prime time” for commercial drone services. If UgCS supported it (let alone DroneDeploy’s pilot application), it would be much more attractive.

While I will agree that the mapping software support is not there I’m going to have to disagree on the viability of this drone for commercial services as you keep calling it. Their willingness to go to an open SDK is well beyond anything that DJI has done. They want to cram a boxed product down your throat and force software vendors to play by their rules. The only thing that’s holding the EVO II back is for people to use it and create a demand, but if you’re not an innovator willing to push the limits there is nothing wrong with that. How do you think DroneDeploy became as extensive as it is now. It wasn’t by them doing it themselves.

There’s nothing special about flying a drone to map. You can very easily map with this drone with a simple waypoint mission which is something everyone should probably learn how to do just to have in their back pockets and quite honestly if you can’t do that you’re not much of a pilot.

Where the rubber meets the road is what is done with the data once it is captured. If you don’t have the infrastructure to handle big data like very large orthos, CAD/GIS files and extensive point clouds that need to be edited then no you are not a commercial services provider. If you’re just taking data and handing it off to someone you’re just a pilot.

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Both maps made with the EVO 2

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Good stuff Jeff, thanks! Can you describe your typical configuration? How do you determine lane width, speed, altitude etc…

I certainly hope software providers will adopt it. But for now, this wouldn’t be my tool of choice for a 250mW Solar Farm Inspection (1,600 acres), facade inspection of a 40-story building, topography mapping of 400 acres with hills/cliffs wth 1500ft elevation change (especially where launch locations at high points aren’t available.), just to name a few types of jobs I’ve done. We do all these types of jobs autonomously with DD, DJI GS Pro, or UgCS (UgCS being the most power/flexible - but makes most pilot’s head’s explode trying to figure out how to use it.) It would be a nightmare to try to do them manually or by any software that doesn’t support terrain following, solar inspection mission workflows, etc.

Still, at $10K for the thermal version, this would be a great buy once the software is mature.

You think? Lol, those are some pretty extreme conditions and not indicative or the majority of commercial drone service work. You’d have to be pretty daft to think that any drone of this form factor would be suitable for those types of projects that you obviously hand picked. It has nothing to do with software on that point.

I’ve done all those types of jobs and can speak from experience, software is key. Hence my perspective behind my original post.

I think we have strayed far enough from the actual reason for this thread. It is not to discuss the inadequacy of the drone for certain types of projects nor is it a place to discuss the inadequacies of the manufacturer’s software. This was simply a question as to whether DroneDeploy was planning on looking into the possibility. If they do I will immediately buy one. @Jamespipe, do you have any insight?

I agree. This drone would be much more useful, at least for some of my purposes, if one of the 3 main pilot software makers (DD, Pix4D, UgCS) supported it. My main intention of posting was to rekindle this thread to (a) see if we can get some status update from DD, and (b) build more support/enthusiam/encouragement for DD to implement it.

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My own opinion based on all the communications I’ve seen from DD about anything over the past year is they are primarily focused on increasing revenue (with an emphasis on deeper penetration of the Construction Industry). This is understandable given the probable pressure to provide ROI to their investors. Spending time on implementing a relatively obscure (so far) drone model doesn’t fit within that strategy. Many construction companies could use a DJI Mavic Mini to get all the data they need. LOL.

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There’s no doubt there. I actually have a couple of use cases in our field on the inspection side that a Mini would be pretty excellent for.

I came across the same thing with the Yuneec H520. There were some discussions between the companies, but nothing ever came of it so I continued beta with Yuneec and helped get their survey software to an acceptable point and moved on. We still have use cases for them, but are 90% DD for now.

Just a note. Apparently the links work for Michael. For me, your links resolve to this:

My browser automatically logged me in.

After doing some more research I see that the EVO II mission planner does have actual mapping flight planning. I previously thought it was just waypoints. As @consultant mentioned though it does not have terrain following which is probably one of the most sought after functions currently and only a few do offer it. Definitely more interested now.

Yes. I was aware of this. Definitely looks to be workable for mapping jobs with fairly flat topography so could be used for a large percentage of jobs. I find the 48MP camera with 4X optical + 4X digital = 8X zoom to be the most compelling aspect of this drone from an inspection job standpoint. A lot cheaper than a DJI with a Z30 especially considering in most cases 30X zoom is way overkill for what you need.

This drone is definitely going to put some heat on DJI to keep their prices in check on future drone models.