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250g+? Got to register it. No problem, it is 249g

The new Dji Mavic Mini drone can rest on the palm of your end and weights like a smartphone. Image credit: Trusted Reviews

Although I am not a fan of drones (yes I have one, I received it as a present and got some fun playing with it) I keep following their evolution because they are an example of an amazingly fast emerging market that spun off out of military research and transformed an outrageously expensive tech (cluster of techs actually) into a mass market product that generated a host of (unexpected) applications.

I have written a number of posts on drones, tracking their evolution and the expanding market. This time, however, the reason for posting a news on the new Dji Mavic Mini is not for the novelty but for the sign they painted on its body: 249.

Given the growing number of drones and their potential interference with other flying objects (read airplanes) the FAA is now requiring all drones owners to register their drones and to adhere to FAA regulations. They set the registration requirement to all drones weighting more than 250g, that is to say all of them till last month. Actually the weight thresholds was set (I imagine) to a level that whatever flies (excluding paper airplanes and kites…) will have to be registered. No longer so.

DJi Mavic has just created a drone (the Mini) weighting just 249g, 1g below the thresholds of mandatory registration. I don’t know if the reaction of FAA will be to lower the thresholds or not, for sure I find interesting that technology keeps progressing exceeding our expectations and the ones of the regulators.

DJi Mavic has achieved this ultra-light drone without cutting any corner in terms of performances and ease of use. Actually, it seems that this mini drone is even easier to use than its heavier siblings. Dji has developed a new app for controlling the drone, Dji Fly with a simplified interface to control the flight and the drone camera. All this ease of use is achieved through more sophisticated on board intelligence, making this drone an autonomous systems that interacts with you to get info on what you want and then converting that into actual executable actions.

If you have some time take a look at the video clip, showing how the Mini performs and how easy it is to use it.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.