DJI flies into the classroom with Tello Talent programmable drone
China's drone titan DJI has today added a new model to its recently launched Education division. The company aims to encourage robotics and AI tech learning with a package that includes a teeny drone, an intuitive mobile app and an exclusive curriculum.
"The RoboMaster TT was specifically designed to appeal to students while cultivating knowledge in AI robotics, programming in a fun, easily digestible and hands-on time which is crucial for applying real world knowledge," said DJI Education's head, Jianrong Gao.
DJI Education was launched last year, initially in Australia and now expanding globally, to give students of all abilities hands-on robotics and coding learning opportunities, while giving classroom tutors the tools they need to support the learning process. The first official product was the EP Core ground-based rover, but DJI had released the education-focused RoboMaster S1 four-wheeled rover in 2019, and the Tello EDU drone before that.
Now the platform is joined by the funky little RoboMaster TT (or Tello Talent), which measures 98 x 92.5 x 41 mm (3.8 x 3.6 x 1.6 in) and weighs in at a featherweight 87 g (3 oz). It rocks four 3-inch rotors with outer bumpers, comes with Wi-Fi onboard, and sports a 5-MP camera with an 82.6-degree field of view for images and video. The removable battery offers a flight time of up to 13 minutes per charge.
The edutainment drone features a new extension board to allow for more AI applications than was possible with previous hardware. There's an open-source ESP32 dual-core microcontroller that supports Arduino, MicroPython and Scratch offline coding. Students will be able to create animations, for example, or scroll letters or generate simple shapes on the 8x8 LED dot-matrix screen module, or get the RGB 256 LED light to flash fast or slow in various colors.
The TT comes with a similar kind of ToF (or Time of Flight) sensor as the ones found in the Mavic 2 Pro and Inspire 2, which is able to see up to 1.2 meters away and can make for simple obstacle detection in the classroom. And the setup is compatible with third party sensors via an adapter for learning opportunities beyond the DJI universe. The package also includes new swarming software, allowing students to fly multiple drones in formation or set up custom maneuvers.
DJI has also taken the opportunity to launch a new software hub for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) educators and teachers, with a web-accessible platform, classroom management system, machine-graded exams, forums and other resources. The hub is live now, and the RoboMaster TT is also available from EDU dealers for US$239.
Product page: RoboMaster Tello Talent