In July 2021, the French drone manufacturer, Parrot, launched its latest drone the ANAFI Ai. This drone has been making waves since it is a 4G connected consumer drone. Most consumer drones communicate with the controller via radiofrequency. This limits their flight range to a few kilometers. This is what gives ANAFI Ai an edge over every drone.
The 4G connectivity gives ANAFI almost twice the range of DJI Mavic Air 2. Parrot has positioned the ANAFI Ai as the ultimate mapping drone with completely revamped aesthetics and a nature-inspired design.
|Maximum Speed||17 m/s forward – 16 m/s backward and laterally|
|Wind Resistance||12.7 m/s|
|Flight Time||32 minutes|
|Max Climb Speed||4 m/s|
|Max Descend Speed||3 m/s|
|Max Altitude (ASL)||5,000 m|
|Range||22.5 km at 14 m/s without wind|
|Max Angular Speed||300°/s on pitch and roll axes & 200°/s on the yaw axis|
If you look at most commercial drones available on the market, none of them offer complete BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) Operation. You can extend their range through better transmission hardware but only up to a small extent. With ANAFI Ai, pilots have the option to fly their drone in EVLOS (Extended Visual Line of Sight up to 9 km) using a built-in WiFi radio, and BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) using a 4G radio module.
This has three major implications:
- Worldwide LTE compatibility. Stream 1080p footage from anywhere.
- Upload files to the cloud while in-flight
- Eliminating the range barrier
Parrot has stated that despite being connected to a 4G network the drone ensures a 1080p video stream with a low latency of up to 300ms. Additionally, features such as congestion control algorithms that switch the transmission from WiFi to 4G in less than 30 seconds will provide pilots with a seamless flying experience. Learn more about ANAFI’s connectivity here.
The ANAFI Ai features a 48MP 1/2” CMOS image sensor. Although Parrot has not used a larger 1” sensor, the drone can take sharp and lossless images. Additionally, it can also shoot videos at 4K UHD at 60 fps and up to 120fps in 1080p resolution.
Parrot promises 4 times the dynamic range compared to conventional sensors. According to the company, the drone captures 55% more details than 1” sensors. “The 1/2” Quad Bayer 48 MP sensor outperforms in sharpness the 1” 20 MP sensors embedded in several professional drones”
Here are some of its key features:
- 48 MP sensor
- 4K video at 60 fps
- HDR10 – HDR8
- 14 EV dynamic range
- 6x digital zoom: 1 cm details at 75 m (240 ft)
Inspection & Mapping Ready
Another feature highlighted in the ANAFI Ai is its photogrammetry capabilities. As mentioned above, it can capture high-resolution images despite its small sensor size, thanks to special image sharpening algorithms. The drone is also compatible with the Pix4D suite making it an ideal photogrammetry tool. You can transfer all of your footage in real-time to Pix4D Cloud using ANAFI’s 4G capabilities. This can significantly reduce the overall processing time.
Another striking feature that aids in photogrammetry operations is the unique camera gimbal. The camera is mounted on a 6-axis hybrid (mechanical + electronic) stabilization system. This gives the camera a motion range of -90° to +90°, which can be extremely useful while inspecting buildings, towers, bridges, pipelines, or power transmission systems.
The ANAFI Ai has autonomous functionality that aids in mapping operations. Its insect-inspired swivel head has two sensors mounted on either side that dynamically sense obstacles. The drone then corrects its trajectory automatically to avoid the obstacles. This can help increase productivity and save time.
Some of its key features are:
- Compatible with the PIX4D Suite
- Photogrammetry flight modes available in FreeFlight 7 and OpenFlight
- Single-click flight plan creation
- 48 MP stills at 1fps: twice as fast as competitors
- Survey-grade accuracy: 0.46cm/px GSD at 30m (100ft)
- In-flight 4G transfer to PIX4Dcloud
Open Source SDK
The Parrot SDK (Software Development Tools) is a set of open-source software for developers. Open-source software has been a part of Parrot’s ecosystem since its first A.R Drone. It gives pilots and developers the flexibility to customize their drone’s flight patterns and autonomy and extend its functionality to their liking.
Parrot’s SDK is completely free and available without registration on their Parrot Developer Portal. With ANAFI Ai, Parrot has also open-sourced the 7th version of its FreeFlight ground control station application.
- Embed your code on the drone with Air SDK
- Create mobile apps with Ground SDK
- Customize open-source GCS with OpenFlight
- Use state-of-the-art drone simulation tool with Sphinx
- Develop python scripts with Olympe
- Process video and metadata with PDrAW
The ANAFI Ai is a well-rounded drone for professional drone pilots. With its 4G connectivity, it can potentially open up new doors to commercial drone operations. Additionally, Parrot also provides a layer of security by embedding a WISeKey Secure Element, NIST FIPS140-2 Level 3 compliant and Common Criteria EAL5+ certified.
However, a lack of a larger image sensor, no optical zoom, and the inability to switch different payloads does restrict the drone in certain ways. Nevertheless, the ANAFI Ai is an innovative drone that converges a lot of essential technologies into one UAV. Learn more about the ANAFI Ai here.