Why did DJI create a 249g drone?
The all-new Mavic Mini is a new product for DJI and a completely new type of product for the entire drone industry. For its size, it is the most advanced drone ever built, with many of the features of a large drone, while weighing just 249 grams. Why has DJI worked so hard to pack as many features as possible into such a small machine? The DJI Mavic Mini is another example of DJI’s commitment to drone safety.
“Every time you choose Mavic Mini over another drone, you are flying safer than before, simply because it is lighter.”
Regulations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia and other regions state that drones weighing less than 250 grams are practically safe, as they are not capable of causing serious harm, unlike heavier drones.
Since drones weighing less than 250g are considered to pose the least risk, they face fewer restrictions or requirements than their heavier counterparts. Regulations vary by country, but in many places a drone weighing less than 250g can be used without registration and may also be a suitable tool in case of need to fly over people.
The weight category under 250g dates back to 2015, when the US Federal Aviation Administration asked a committee of aviation and UAV experts to quickly determine the minimum weight of an unmanned aerial vehicle, starting from which amateur pilots must register their drones. Complex formulas involving kinetic energy and top speed were used to recommend a weight class of 250 grams and above, which the FAA then accepted.
While the 250g limit was only intended as a threshold for registration, any weight below that was deemed so low that it was unlikely to cause safety issues, and thus there was no reason left to introduce stricter rules for categories below 250gr.
Later, DJI performed more detailed calculations and concluded that the 250g limit was very conservative. In a white paper released in 2017, DJI researchers said drones weighing up to 2.2 kilograms should be considered the lowest-risk group. However, the 250g limit has already become the global regulatory standard for drones, which pose a negligible safety risk.
With this in mind, DJI is now proud to be able to manufacture a drone that provides advanced functionality in this ultra-light category, making the airspace safer for everyone. Every time you use the Mavic Mini instead of a heavier drone, you are doing it safer than before by simply using a lighter device.
While DJI prioritizes safety, compliance with regulations, social rapport, respectful interaction, and the responsibility of piloting a drone of any size, even a Mavic Mini, are also important factors. Therefore, like its larger counterparts, the Mavic Mini supports the GEO 2.0 geofencing system, which helps prevent accidental or intentional flights in places that can cause serious aviation security problems. In the United States, if you are already registered with the FAA as a drone operator, your registration is valid for all of your drones. We recommend that you tag your Mavic Mini using the same registration number, although this is not required for this drone and recreational use.
The Mavic Mini is also equipped with the AeroScope Remote Identification System, which allows security personnel to detect, identify and locate the drone and its pilot while in flight. AeroScope is a system that secures airports, stadiums, high-security events and other vulnerabilities around the world and demonstrates the ability of the Remote ID feature to solve some of the biggest problems with drones.
DJI is supporting the efforts of regulators around the world to create mandatory means of remote drone identification. As not only a supporter but also a co-author of future rules and standards for Remote ID, DJI also expects the Mavic Mini to be compliant with the official Remote ID requirements once implemented. In work on the FAA Committee on Remote Identification and Aviation Compliance in 2017, we supported the conclusions of the Security, Law Enforcement and Air Traffic Control Working Group on which drones should be included in Remote ID. This group has recommended that the FAA require remote identification for drones that provide advanced capabilities that could raise significant security concerns, such as long-range flight capabilities with live video feeds. While the full upcoming FAA remote identification requirements have not yet been disclosed, DJI still agrees with this recommendation from 2017 that a capability-based threshold for remote identification makes more sense than a threshold based on aircraft weight alone.
When regulators said drones under 250 grams were the safest, DJI took it as a challenge. For DJI, safety has always been a top priority, and Mavic Mini breaks new ground by showing how a small yet powerful drone can do big things without leaving the “low risk” category. Since you love flying your Mavic Mini, always follow local regulations and remember that no matter how small your drone is, when you use it, you represent drone owners of all sizes.Fly safely and have fun.