DJI Drone Creates Open Drone Platform
DJI Drone Creates Open Drone Platform
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 12 April 2018

Drone manufacturer DJI has opened its commercial drone platform with an SDK and DJI Skyport adapter. The open platform can be used by developers can to create customised drone solutions for specific application or industry needs. 

Developers will be able to work with DJI's commercial Matrice 200 Series drones via an SDK and SkyPort adapter and will be able to attach and integrate third party cameras or sensors to the drones. The drones are aimed at the commercial drone market, but the technology is likely to spread to recreational drones too. The DJI Skyport is a gimbal port adapter that means an external payload can be integrated with DJI drones.

With the DJI Skyport gimbal port adapter, circuit board and access to APIs, an external sensor or payload can be installed and controlled just as if it were one of DJI's own compatible cameras. The setup will connect directly to the drone’s power supply, eliminating the need for external cables and batteries.


The Payload SDK can then be used to access the drone’s data communications system, meaning the drone's operators can communicate directly with the sensor and receive its data in real time. Until now, companies creating customized drones for industry have had to attach sensors to the drones with external power cables or batteries, which added complexity and increased the overall weight, so reducing the maximum flight time. The sensors did not have access to the drone's communications systems, so could not return in-flight sensor information.

The SDK consists of a set of communications APIs that let your payload communicate with the drone’s internal systems such as the flight controller, GPS module, and transmission system. There's a Payload SDK hardware kit that consists of a DJI SKYPORT adapter, a development board and a coaxial cable to connect the two components. There's also a mobile app, DJI Pilot, that can be used to display the information from the payload in real time. It lets the operator send commands and adjust settings; alternatively, developers can create their own customized mobile app. 


More Information

DJI Payload SDK

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