Parrot‘s newest drone targets DJI directly on their most vulnerable point: data security rumors that just can’t be quelled. The ANAFI USA offers a compelling alternative: a U.S.-manufactured, rugged and feature-loaded system at a reasonable pricepoint. While Parrot is currently the world’s #2 drone manufacturer, the company is not afraid to take on the top dog.
The targeting of DJI wasn’t subtle. Parrot built up to yesterday’s launch with a marketing campaign of “Do You Trust DJI Drones?” But with U.S. government proposals to ban Chinese-manufactured drones persistently popping up, some law enforcement and security-conscious enterprise clients are indeed looking for an alternative: and Parrot has created the ANAFI USA in the hopes of meeting that need.
In the U.K., commercial drone experts and solutions provider Coptrz offered a detailed launch webinar on the ANAFI USA. Coptrz marketing director Kevin Gillespie emphasized the impact of the newest Parrot drone. “Parrot has gone bold with this launch,” said Gillespie. “This is a real game-changer for law enforcement.”
Parrot’s Asif Gillani emphasized the drone’s ability to meet customer needs for security. “The security is based on the SRR [Short Range Reconnaissance] drone that we produce for the U.S. government,” points out Gillani. “100% of all of the critical components have been cleared by the U.S. government. We’re very, very focused on how this is a secure and trusted drone.”
The company has made major efforts to mitigate vulnerabilities. Manufactured in Boston, MA, Parrot emphasizes that no data from the ANAFI USA is sent to the Parrot servers unless the client specifically directs it: even the SD card is encrypted, in case the drone is stolen. While that level of security may not be essential for all applications, many customers simply want to use an “approved” system. “It’s never going to hurt, having that level of security,” points out Sam Denniff, Coptrz Public Safety UAV Strategist.
ANAFI USA Features
In addition to the security features, the ANAFI USA is loaded with high end imaging features. The cameras are key. “We’ve gone ‘best in class’ with the cameras,” says Gillani. “Sony makes the best visual cameras, FLIR makes the best thermal cameras. We’ve included both of those.” The 32X zoom is one of the key features: and the Coptrz team emphasized that in testing out in the field, it’s a stunning display. “People are shocked at the clarity and stability of the image,” says Sam Denniff.
“The 32x zoom is designed around two 21-megapixel cameras, allowing operators to see details clearly from up to 5 km (3.1 mi) away,” says the release. “The zoom image is coupled (blended) with images from ANAFI USA’s FLIR Boson camera. This enables operators to detect hot spots with the thermal camera, while the visual camera allows them to view people and other important details from up to 2 km (1.2 mi) away.”
Easy. Fast. Rugged. Accurate.
Parrot’s newest drone ticks a lot of boxes for public safety. It’s easy, fast, weather and wind resistant, very quiet – and small.
“ANAFI USA is operational in less than 55 seconds: it takes less than 55 seconds to unfold the drone, turn it on, establish the secure radio link and take off,” says the release. It also works without GPS indoors, and: “ANAFI USA can also launch from the palm of the hand like a paper plane, further expanding its ease of use.”
Other features are best in class – and impressive for a 500 g (1.1 lbs) drone. With a 32 minute flight time, the ANAFI USA has decent endurance. It’s foldable, portable, and compact. It’s got follow me, follow you, return to home, and more automation features. It’s unobtrusive, but has everything a pilot needs to collect quality data for inspection or enterprise purposes.
“Traditionally, you’d have to use a much larger, much heavier drone for this functionality,” says Denniff.
Price is always one of the most critical featuers of any new drone – and it’s been a weakness for many U.S. manufactured products that have sought to compete with DJI. That’s where ANAFI USA may be most compelling: at $7,000 with the cameras built in, it’s a price point that many drone service providers, law enforcement teams, and enterprise programs can accept.
“There’s nothing like this on the market,” says Gillani.
ANAFI USA will be available for pre-order starting July 27th. Availability will begin in August through the following Parrot Drone Enterprise Partners: Drone Nerds, RMUS and leading Enterprise Drone Resellers.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.