Another big project launch is set to come out of DJI tomorrow. DJI is promoting its product launch event under the moniker “Born to Fly” — and it is set for 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, August. 25.
While specific details provided by DJI are pretty slim, it seems likely that we’ll get a new drone tomorrow. After all, the event has the word “fly” in its title. DJI also included a single image accompanying its Born to Fly promotional material, and it’s a very shadowy image. But, the outline is pretty clear that it’s a drone.
And if it is, in fact, a drone, then this one has a standout feature that few other drones have: propeller guards. Propeller guards (often referreed to as prop guards) create a cage around the otherwise sharp, spinning propellers that serve two purposes. First, they’re generally seen as more of a safety feature, as they reduce the risk you’re cut by a blade if the drone bumps into you. But secondly, if the drone hits an object with its blade, it’s less likely that the drone completely goes out of commission. Typically a drone cannot recover from a blade bump and will crash, but a drone with a propeller guard will be able to just bounce right off a wall and continue flying.
The only other drone on DJI’s website that has propeller guards is the DJI Tello, which is a drone that is made by DJI, but only kind of. Tello is a $99 kid-friendly drone made by China-based Ryze Technology, but it’s sold by DJI because it uses DJI flight technology parts (with an Intel processor). This budget camera drone is popular because it can also be used to teach newbies the basics of programming.
Related read: Tello drone review: Ryze’s $99 drone that uses DJI and Intel Tech
Propeller guards are also a key feature in what’s generally referred to as a Cinewhoop-style drone.
Cinewhoop drones capture relatively crisp, stable, high-definition video in a body that’s much smaller than your usual FPV drone. And typically, these drones have 3” propellers that are protected in ducts, which pilots say not just helps with safety and mitigates risk of crashing, but also gives them more lift.
The last major drone launch from DJI was the May 2022 release of the DJI Mini 3 Pro, a 249-gram camera drone.
Will DJI release a lower-cost, beginner friendly drone like Tello tomorrow? Is this an evolution of its camera drones? Is DJI introducing a Cinewhoop style drone? Here’s one thing that’s for sure: I’ll be covering all the details of the Born to Fly event, so check back here tomorrow.