DJI the world-leading drone industry has spent few years running a gargantuan robotics competition in China called RoboMasters. It is a large arena where students from all over the world come together to build and code robots that battles against each other. DJI recently shifted its focus on selling a much approachable version of the robot tank to kids in China, Japan and United States.
The new DJI Robomaster S1 tank is outfitted with a camera and intelligent sensors on an educational platform. In addition to that, it is fully capable of flexing its hardware and software muscles that demonstrates its impressive performance. Unlike other drones, the Robomaster S1 is the only robot that is currently equipped with 31 sensors. These sensors helps the robot map its environment while it navigates the landscape effortless thanks to Mechanum wheels.
Just like the DJI newest drones: Mavic Air and Spark. The Robomaster S1 is capable of recognizing and responding to commands like gesture and sounds. It also can track objects using its built-in artificial intelligent system. Plus it has built-in camera that livestream the video feed directly to your mobile device. Unlike the DJI drones, Robomaster S1 can fire little gel bead bullets. They are non-toxic and will puff up if they are submerged in water. However, cleaning-up will be required after use.
The new DJI Robomaster S1 can be controlled using various type of controllers. It can be commanded via a gaming pad, smartphone, tablet, or even a remote controller. Although, the remote controller will be sold separately as an add-on package that comes with an extra battery and a pack of gel beads which will become available at a later date.
The value of Robomaster S1 is designed to give the kids outside of China a taste of what it is meant to be a part of the RoboMasters competition. This robot tank is incredible customizable and can be tinkered around to unlock new features. While it will come disassembled, it gives kids an amazing opportunity to put almost every pieces together to get started.
They can program the robot using either Scratch 3.0 or Python to perform complex tasks. However, if you don’t know how to code. Don’t worry about it because DJI created series video tutorials called Road to Mastery. These videos covers the fundamentals of Robomaster S1 to help you get started. Shuo Yang told Bloomberg that he hopes robotics will become a major sport eventually and that it is a vision for this product.
While the new DJI Robomaster S1 certainly galvanized the audience. It has arrived at somewhat a precarious time for a few reasons. The United States is locked in a tariff wars with China. At the same time, they are accusing Huawei of spying for the Chinese government.
This raised national security concerns that the United States is looking into other areas for Chinese companies that might pose risks to privacy and data collection. Last month, the Department of Homeland warned that Chinese-made drones might have the capability to capture and transmit sensitive data back to the Chinese government. Especially that DJI accounts approximately 80% of the drones in North America.
The new DJI Robomaster S1 is more limited in contrast to these aerial robots. However, it is outfitted with a high-resolution camera. Which potentially raise concerns as a consumer and in some cases, governments. They have become more sensitive about allowing the use of cameras in their home.
The DJI Robomaster S1 introduction video is present in a slightly militaristic language. Not just only it might make some consumers feel a bit unease with the current tension between the United States and China. However, because last week marked the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, where a man nicknamed “Tank Man” famously stopped the Chinese tanks. You can learn more about Robomaster S1 here.