The Manifold 2: the on-board mini-supercomputer than can turn DJI drones into autobots
DJI has released the Manifold 2, a new super-small onboard supercomputer that can be used to upgrade a number of this company's drones. The device confers a substantial amount of brain on the flying robot in question. It allows the user to convert it into an autonomous robot, AI-enhanced aerial solution or object-detecting or tracking machine.
The Manifold 2 comes in 2 basic flavors: one with an Intel Core i7-8550U for a processor or one with the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 platform. They can be chosen based on the applicaiton in mind: for exampke, the 'Jetson' model supports AI-related functions, whereas the i7 is required for autonomy, as well as other forms of robotics or powerful analytical capabilities.
The possibilities of the Manifold 2 are so compelling that it is almost a shame that it is only compatible with enterprise-grade DJI drones. They are of either the Matrice 210 or Matrice 600 series. However, the popularity, future development and refinement of this technology may see its successors in consumer-level products one day. Until then, the 'i7' model is currently priced at US$1,379, whereas the Jetson TX2 version is $1,099. They are available from dji.com in North America, or from authorized resellers elsewhere on Earth.