Parrot’s new ANAFI Ai quadcopter is taking the technology sector – and the skies – by storm after it was announced that the drone can use 4G cellular data when it struggles to find suitable Wi-Fi.
When placed into default mode, the ANAFI Ai opens communications with its pilot via Wi-Fi to save on cellular data and to keep things nice and simple for the user.
So, how does it work?
Working with a ratio of 100 milliseconds, the drone’s microprocessor assesses the core metrics of its wireless connection, and if it is less than ideal, the copter will automatically switch to its onboard 4G module, which can support 28 different frequency bands and cover a massive 98 per cent of frequencies worldwide.
The encrypted 4G connection also ensures no one can hack into the system and it may even be possible to operate the quadcopter “at any distance.” It has also been suggested that the drone is fully operational, even when it is not in direct line of sight.
Under the hood
The ANAFI Ai features video recording technology that’s able to capture footage up to a maximum resolution of around 4K/60fps and stream it at 1080p/30fps straight to the pilot. It also shoots high-resolution 48-megapixel imagery via a gimbal-stabilised HDR camera with a half-inch CMOS sensor.
Users can even benefit from optimised photogrammetry, in which 3D models of skyscrapers, buildings, landscapes and other structures are created from joined individual still images.
The drone is also able to fly autonomously, either by following a pre-programmed GPS, Galileo or Glonass waypoint, using its subject as a tracking indicator or by following the user’s vehicle while in motion. A set of gimbal-mounted stereoscopic cameras automatically detect and avoid obstacles that may be thrown up while on route.
The Parrot ANAFI Ai quadcopter needs just one charge of its 3.35-mAh/72-volt lithium-polymer battery, which it is claimed will be suitable for a maximum flight time of 32 minutes. The aircraft weighs 898 grams, and its arms are retractable for easy transit. It also features a maximum horizontal speed of 55 km/h, with IPX3 water resistance, meaning it can withstand sprays of water while flying or resting.
The groundbreaking new drone is said to be released later this year, along with its price.