European drone company Parrot is releasing a new drone, the Anafi AI, in the second half of 2021. Notably, it’s the first to use 4G as a main data link between the drone and remote—effectively doing away with transmission limitations. It can also use a Wi-Fi connection. Parrot claims remote pilots can operate the drone Beyond Visual Line of Sight (if permission is obtained) and it won’t lose connection behind obstacles such as trees or buildings.
A camera with a 48MP 1/2″ Quad Bayer sensor, 24mm lens, a fixed F2.0 aperture and 73º FOV is affixed to a 6-axis (3-axis mechanical, 3-axis electronic) stabilized gimbal. Parrot says that the camera offers the same precision as a drone with a 1″-type 20MP CMOS sensor while flying 1.5 times higher. The gimbal can also tilt +90º upward and -90º downward, a unique feature also found on its original Anafi model. The camera can record up to 4K/60p footage at H.265 with HDR10 and offers a P-Log profile. It can digitally zoom in on subjects up to 6X with 4X lossless at 1080p and 2X lossless at 4K UHD.
When folded down, the drone is 304 x 130 x 118 mm and weighs 898 g (1.98 lbs.). It has a maximum flight time of 32 minutes, a maximum speed of 16 m/s (34 mph) and can resist winds up to 13 m/s (29 mph). Parrot’s obstacle avoidance system uses stereoscopic cameras to detect obstacles in all directions and avoid them. They can be found on both sides of the camera.
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While remote pilots can manually control the camera, the Anafi AI is also capable of autonomous photogrammetry. It can capture 48MP imagery at 1 frame per second and data can immediately be uploaded to Pix4D, one of Parrot’s ecosystem partners. Users can also pre-plan flights by designating multiple Waypoints and Points of Interest.
Parrot also developed a WISeKey Secure Element for the Anafi AI which encrypts the 4G link between the drone and user’s smartphone. Not only is sensitive information protected, but the user can also permanently delete all data with a single click – giving them full control over what information is stored. Developers can access a Software Developer Kit (SDK) to add new features to the Anafi AI.
The Anafi AI will be available sometime in the next six months. Parrot has not set a definitive release date and pricing is unavailable at this time. Given it will be available through an Enterprise Reseller Network, it will likely be priced on the higher end. Full information can be found on Parrot’s website.