It’s been a month since Parrot announced its new commercial drone, ANAFI Ai — an admittedly stylish machine that uses 4G LTE as the primary data link between the drone and the operator. Now, we have more details on how Parrot will make sure operators in the United States are able to utilize this intriguing feature out of the box.
The ANAFI Ai features a uniquely designed omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system, 48 MP imaging sensor, 4K 60fps videos, and up to 32 minutes of flight time in an airframe that weighs less than 2 pounds. And, of course, there’s 4G LTE connectivity. And for that, Parrot is signing an exclusive partnership deal with mobile network provider Verizon and its drone software subsidiary Skyward.
No 4G wireless bills for ANAFI Ai?
If you are a Skyward subscriber, you will be able to get Verizon 4G LTE connectivity for your ANAFI Ai drone at no additional cost. If not, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial that will allow you to test the 4G feature. But after that, you will have to become a paying customer of Skyward, the annual membership of which starts at $299 per user.
But hey, you wouldn’t be paying all that money just to transfer data during flight over 4G LTE. There are a host of other things that you will be able to do with Skyward Connected Drone Solution, such as:
- Planning missions with Skyward’s airspace map and fleet management tools
- Obtaining fast, automated access to controlled airspace from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with LAANC
- Flying with automated flight modes using the InFlight mobile app
And if you decide to go for the $998 per user per year subscription model, you will be able to process your drone data also inside the Skyward platform using Pix4D photogrammetry software.
Gamechanger for the commercial drone industry
Once activated, Verizon 4G LTE connectivity will give ANAFI Ai operators a seamless backup connection to the flight controller in case of interference or interruption. This will enable near real-time data transfer, remote deployment, and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight operations, for which you can get a waiver from the FAA.
Stressing that cellular connectivity will become the “new communications standard” for the enterprise drone industry, Henri Seydoux, Founder and CEO of Parrot, sums up:
We’ve designed ANAFI Ai’s 4G LTE connectivity to enable precise, robust, and secure control at any distance with a 4G LTE connection that avoids obstacles.
Advanced artificial intelligence, autonomous flights, best-in-class imaging, photogrammetry accuracy, and reliable 4G LTE connectivity on the Verizon network will put powerful new tools in the hands of professionals like never before and we truly believe it is a gamechanger for the professional drone industry.
The pricing and release date for the ANAFI Ai 4G drone remain undisclosed.
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