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Parrot Anafi

PWidmayer

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Hey all, My agencies are in the market for a thermal drone. Does anyone have any experience for information/feedback on the Parrot Thermal? If there is someone is the north east area of the US that has one I would love to see it in action. (I will travel within reason.) For reference I work for the Chester County Hazmat Team, West Chester Police Department and West Chester Fire Department. All are in the infancy stage of drone program. (I am one of 2 pilots and the lead for drone program.)
 

dougcjohn

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The older Anafi thermal is a good little craft with a 160 full Radiometric sensor... but 160 isn’t very functional, particularly the services you provide.

The new Anafi USA model recently released is a 320 thermal, much more usable. This new model is much more functional. Next step up would be the Autel EVO2 Dual, but at a greater cost to cover the 640 Thermal.

Neither have the 3rd party support as DJI platforms. Waiting to see if the Mavic 3 Pro will include a thermal option.
 

sUAVe Imagery

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I own the Anafi Thermal. Have had it for 1 year now. It has been functional for me doing small roof inspections, checking wall insulation in homes, and even steam pipes leaking underground among other things. True, I can’t be 1/4 mile away to do these things like the 640s and such, but it is useful for close up things (50-150ft). Parrot as of late has had update issues causing some problems. I stopped updating before these issues and have flown flawlessly. Guess it really depends on what you’re using it for.

And it’s a radiometric sensor useable with FLIRTools software.

You can also adjust your thermal image and your real-time 4k image to blend properly. Giving somewhat of a decent image for the sensor size.

You also can’t beat the ability to look under things like bridges, and platforms with the 90deg upward facing camera, even with thermal.

I have a short video here:

 
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dougcjohn

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I'd agree with @sUAVe Imagery on great little craft & usefulness... at close range. I owned 2, the 1st one had IR issues and 2nd one performed nicely. In my opinion it's app was nicely designed, although the radio wasn't great on stable reception in non-open environments. As indicated, anything greater than 50 ft loses useful detail and moving out to 100 ft for minimal SAR, or Fire assessment and the data is too blotchy to provide detailed information. It's RGB camera and Thermal overlay is much better than M2E Dual detail potential... although I like the M2EDual overall. The Anafi's Lipton 160 full radiometric & FlirTools for post work on close subject: roof, etc is helpful too... again within it's limitations.

The new Anafi USA kit, with the 320 Thermal is a major improvement overall in platform & sensor payloads. A 160x120 sensor at 19,200 vs a 320x256 sensor at 81,920, the 320 is about 4.2 times greater resolution. At 4X greater resolution, that's a lot more detail and useable at higher altitudes.

The Anafi USA appears to be designed more focused for service work in the fields you're specifying.
At the price point of the Anafi USA of $7000, it's in the same ballpark of the EVO2 Dual with a 640 sensor @ est $10000. The 640x512 @ 327,680 is 4X greater resolution than the 320 sensor, and over 16X greater than a 160 sensor. The 320 is probably minimal requirement, the 640 is premium. If they offered the Anafi USA in a 640 at $9000... that package would probably be the best small platform available in usefulness, app features and access to a few 3rd party tools. The EVO2 lacks 3rd party support currently. At $7-10K investment, I'm waiting to see a few more brand releases... such as DJI. I use the M210 or Inspire 1 with the XT Flir 640 19mm... bigger overall package compared to new small platform offerings. I was looking at XT2 640 until all these small thermal packages began to appear.
 
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jaja6009

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There are going to be plenty of lower cost choices coming soon. Flir has a 320 Boson and EO module that will make it very easy and cost effective for other companies to get into thermal enterprise drones. It's called the Hadron.


It also looks like the other companies in the US Army SRR project may release their prototypes into the commercial market. The SRR contestants I think are

Parrot Anafi USA Parrot ANAFI USA - The professional drone made in U.S.A.
Skydio X2 Skydio X2™
Altavian Ion M440 Ion M440 American Made Tactical Quadcopter — Altavian
Teal Golden Eagle Home - Teal Drones
Lumenier I could not find which product they have entered.

The Vantage Vesper may also be in the SRR.

The Skydio X2 looks like it may be the best offering from a public safety viewpoint for a low cost thermal. We are being discouraged from using Chinese drones. I am waiting for more info, I need it's IP rating, temperature operating range and some other info and my personal choice could be made.

Beware of the Autel Evo 2. Being Chinese, poor temperature operating rang and no posted IP rating have made me back off of it for public safety, but I am still considering it for my side gig.
 
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PWidmayer

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I agree the X2 does look promising. One of my agencies was looking at the Dual Enterprise - as a starter. If the program grows then we could justify something bigger and more expensive. I keep getting stifled by budget issues. This is the 2nd year of me trying to get started. Of course each year there is something new coming out. Meanwhile flying my M2Pro and Mini for fun and real estate.
 

dougcjohn

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The X2 is an exciting platform, although they've targeted that towards enterprise purchases. They've openly expressed if you're not purchasing a quantity, they won't sell. One shop on the Skydio forum wanted to purchase 2-3 units and was informed that wasn't enough quantity to qualify for purchasing.

My understanding is the X2 won't be available to Individuals or small shops, only larger contracts.
 
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BigAl07

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The X2 is an exciting platform, although they've targeted that towards enterprise purchases. They've openly expressed if you're not purchasing a quantity, they won't sell. One shop on the Skydio forum wanted to purchase 2-3 units and was informed that wasn't enough quantity to qualify for purchasing.

My understanding is the X2 won't be available to Individuals or small shops, only larger contracts.
Ironically I can point you to an Energy Org that purchased a single X2 unit last week. I watched video of it doing an autnomous flight in/around/through powerlines and inspecting transformers here in my home town just last night. It was impressive how it was able to see & avoid simple powerlines and makes it way through them from Point A to Point B and back again.

For transparency, this agency has one of, if not THE largest, UAS programs in the US outside of a Govt type agency so maybe Skydio figured it was in their best interest to provide a single unit for testing and evaluation with the expectations they will buy many more units (and I'm pretty sure they are going to).
 

iaincaradoc

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They've openly expressed if you're not purchasing a quantity, they won't sell.
Not only do they not want to sell, they don't even want to *talk* to you. This is a quote, directly from Skydio, in response to my inquiry after they suggested I look at the Skydio 2, and I replied that I was looking for thermal capabilities:

"That is correct. Skydio 2 is not thermal-capable. At the moment, Skydio X2 is reserved for folks looking to use their units for larger-scale solutions (industrial/defense/commercial/public safety uses cases). We hope to be able to serve all use cases soon."
 
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dougcjohn

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Anafi support will be introduced in UgCS 2.8
We are doing flight tests currently.
That is great to hear!
In your testing, is connection more like the DJI with it's UgCS Tablet client or more direct computer like the Yuneec H520.
That is encouraging, helps Anafi a lot too!
 

jaja6009

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The must be a large entity is kind of frustrating concerning the Skydio X2. For work, in our own rating system, tailored to our needs, the X2 scored vary high even though we were still missing a lot of information on it and with it being new it lacking 3rd party support for software and accessories. I feel that as time goes on, it will score even higher. The 360 view with up to 100 Digital Zoom was really a unique eye catching feature and we all know how well this drone can fly autonomously.

It looks like that the other companies that are entered into the US Army SRR program could also enter into the commercial market with their entries, and the new FLIR Hadron camera module could also have other companies create a lower cost 320 Thermal drone. I can't wait to see who the winner/s are.
 

dougcjohn

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The must be a large entity is kind of frustrating concerning the Skydio X2. For work, in our own rating system, tailored to our needs, the X2 scored vary high even though we were still missing a lot of information on it and with it being new it lacking 3rd party support for software and accessories. I feel that as time goes on, it will score even higher. The 360 view with up to 100 Digital Zoom was really a unique eye catching feature and we all know how well this drone can fly autonomously.

It looks like that the other companies that are entered into the US Army SRR program could also enter into the commercial market with their entries, and the new FLIR Hadron camera module could also have other companies create a lower cost 320 Thermal drone. I can't wait to see who the winner/s are.
I’d agree these will be interesting to watch the outcomes and additional developments spured by Govt & Military competition and contracts. Sadly, it will most likely bring the same limited market the X2 will operate... Contracts with large enterprises. On a company’s viewpoint; it’s understandable. Why spend advertisement on prosumer spectrum, broaden legal scenarios and scope, maintain a broader customer service, and more or less the headaches of all the small shops or single individuals. When their profit margin with Govt and Lg Entities greatly exceed prosumer market. Their incentive to deal with retail market just doesn’t exist on these platforms.

On an oddity, even with all fuss & action against DJI; when all the various DJI platforms were heavy in St, Govt, and Military: police, fire, survey, parks, etc. That technology, and the majority of the platforms were available on consumer side too. We’ve been accustomed to this open market offering, even though there has always been specialty platforms by other companies at the same time that went unnoticed that were not offered to consumer market.

Essentially, that hasn’t changed... Still a closed market, but the products technology and presentation to the public has been displayed.
 

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