DJI has teamed up with thermal imaging firm FLIR Systems to create the Zenmuse XT, an aerial thermal-imaging camera with a range of applications

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Despite the bad rap drones have been getting from some quarters, leading manufacturer DJI is determined to keep pushing for ways the devices can do good.

Its latest creation is the Zenmuse XT, a thermal image camera, built in collaboration with thermal-imaging firm FLIR. This partnership has created exactly what you might have expected, namely a flying thermal imaging camera.

This combination of DJI’s flying platform expertise and FLIR’s thermal-imaging prowess has created an aerial system with a broad range of applications – DJI lists: ‘firefighting, agriculture, inspection and several other industrial-use cases.’

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‘Almost every week we see new applications of our aerial technology,’ said DJI Founder and CEO Frank Wang. ‘Adding thermal imaging as an additional sensor options for aerial platforms will open up new AND innovative uses for our users, whether it’s gaining strategic insight into how their crops are growing or more efficiently understanding the spread of fires. ‘

Indeed it’s interesting that Wang should bring up fires, given that drone users have recently gotten in trouble for interfering with fire helicopters at the sites of forest fire. A sign perhaps that DJI is paying close attention to how drones are being used and perceived, and creating products accordingly.

The system integrates one of FLIR’s top-quality thermal-imagers with DJI’s gimbal stabilisation and Lightbridge video-transmission technology, creating a flying thermal camera with a huge degree of creative potential.

It uses the same gimbal mount as DJI’s Zenmuse X3, X5 and X5R, and is fully compatible with the DJI Inspire 1 and Matrice M100 aerial platforms.

The unit is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2016.

Visit DJI’s website to find out more about the Zenmuse XT