This week brought a big announcement: Skyward is partnering with Parrot to deliver drones, management software, and training for enterprises. Specifically, Skyward will be offering Parrot’s ANAFI line of professional drones, including the ANAFI 4K, ANAFI Thermal, and very soon, the U.S.-manufactured ANAFI USA.
As the lead pilot of Skyward’s Customer success team, I got my hands on an ANAFI 4K to try it out. I wanted to see how the drone with its 4K HDR imaging performs as an enterprise tool. After a few weeks of testing, I’ve been impressed, and I wanted to share about a few of the perks of this aircraft.
How well does the Parrot ANAFI 4K drone fly?
When my ANAFI arrived, my initial reaction was surprise. It’s a really compact, lightweight airframe that folds up into a highly portable package. The build quality is solid, but I had some concerns: How well would it hold up in the wind? During survey missions, would it be able to hold a straight-line flight path and accurately capture the data I need?
To answer these questions, I took the ANAFI out into the field. I ran test flights in a few different environments, including an area over water with relatively high winds. I’m happy to say that it performed really well. Despite its small size, it stayed very steady in the wind — in fact, it’s rated with a maximum wind resistance of 30 miles per hour. The drone was able to maintain straight lines and controlled flight patterns. And its 21 megapixel optical sensor captured the imagery I wanted to collect.
How useful is the ANAFI’s ground control system?
I also found the ANAFI easy to control. Using any ground control system for the first time requires a bit of a learning curve, but Parrot’s is very straightforward. In fact, it’s one of the easier ground control systems I’ve worked with. The controller’s flight and camera controls felt natural, responsive, and intuitive. The FreeFlight mobile app offered good, clean use of screen real estate that made it easy to see what was going on.
For field deployments, I think it’s great that the ANAFI’s Geofence feature is completely optional and based on distance rather than location. When operating with permission in areas of controlled airspace, I don’t have to take the time and effort to disable specific geofenced grids like I do with some other drones. The ANAFI lets me cut down on deployment time while still providing an option if I want to prevent the drone from flying farther or higher than I intend.
What are some industries and use cases for Parrot ANAFI drones?
The ANAFI’s design is perfect for infrastructure inspections. Each model features a camera with 180 degrees of vertical tilt, which means it can inspect objects directly above and below it. This is especially useful for inspecting the underside of tall structures and other difficult-to-access areas.
I think any of the ANAFI drones, especially the Thermal or USA, are great options to consider for inspections such as:
- Electrical infrastructure
- Telecom towers
- Oil and gas pipelines
- Construction sites
The potential use cases go far beyond inspection, too. ANAFI drones can be used to support search & rescue operations, create 3D maps, assist first responders, capture media footage, and much more.
How will the Parrot ANAFI sync with Skyward’s Drone Management Platform?
Very soon, automatic flight log syncing with Skyward will be available for the entire ANAFI line in Parrot’s FreeFlight app. When flying an ANAFI with FreeFlight, the drone will automatically send flight logs to Skyward’s Drone Management Platform. Soon after landing, pilots will be able to see exactly where they flew, track aircraft metrics, and log other key data points from the ANAFI inside Skyward — no extra uploads or manual data log syncing required.
In the near future, I’m looking forward to seeing Skyward’s live flight tracking feature work with ANAFI drones. That will open the door to even greater situational awareness and program oversight.
In the next few weeks, I’m looking forward to flying Parrot’s ANAFI USA, which provides the same high-end security, durability, and imaging capabilities as Parrot’s Short-Range Reconnaissance drone designed for the U.S. Army, and trying out its suite of advanced enterprise features.
Interested in learning more about Parrot’s ANAFI lineup?
Skyward is proud to sell the ANAFI 4K and ANAFI Thermal, with pre-orders available for the ANAFI USA. To learn more, check out our ANAFI USA Drone and Training Package page.