Parrot has been in business for over 20 years and is one of the go-to manufacturers for high-performance drones. But their main goal was to design drones that users will find very easy to operate.
To keep in line with this promise, they released several new drone models that combine simplicity and ease of operation. Our focus today is on the Parrot Anafi Thermal Drone which is equipped with a thermal camera.
Main Uses of Drones Equipped with Thermal Cameras
Drones are useful tools. But those that feature thermal cameras are even more powerful. Such devices use vision imaging capabilities to detect heat emission from numerous objects.
Almost all objects emit heat, both physical items, and human beings. Temperature differences gathered from these objects are turned into useful images and videos to aid the thermal camera user in decision making. As a result, drones with thermal imaging cameras are invaluable in the following sectors.
By using drones to detect heat emitted from buildings, contractors can perform the necessary diagnosis. Here they can identify any issues in the building structure including areas where heat loss or insulation problems are present. With the camera fitted to a drone, workers can view almost any part of a structure.
Thermal imagery is also used to identify problems such as faulty power lines or defective solar panels. By using these drones, such problems are picked up in just a matter of minutes to help contractors make quick decisions and the necessary repairs.
Civil Security Experts
Drones with thermal cameras are widely used by civil security experts to identify hot spots. Depending on the information gathered, you can decide which area needs urgent attention.
It’s not uncommon for people to go missing. By using a drone with a buitl in thermal camera, it’s quicker and easier to search for people, especially in secluded areas. Here the drones will scan for any heat emissions released by the individuals.
Aside from detecting heat emissions, these drones are used to monitor personnel working on sites to help ensure their safety.
Getting too close to wildlife to get the required shot can be risky. Drones with thermal images can help you take the shot from a safe distance.
When using this device, you don’t have to worry about scaring off the animals. It can travel within close range of the animals without intimidating them.
Even if you’re not capturing footage, the same drone can be used strictly for observation purposes. This way you can monitor an area for illegal activities such as unauthorized hunting.
Parrot Anafi with Thermal Camera
The Parrot Anafi Thermal drones are compact and high-performance units used by people in inspection professions as well as drone hobbyists. When detecting problems using these drones, speed is of utmost importance. And efficiency is what the Anafi promises to offer users thanks to the fast processing speeds of the unit; the device start-up and be running in only three seconds.
Upon unboxing the package, aside from the Parrot Anafi thermal drone you’ll also find:
- Anafi thermal drone
- A Parrot Skycontroller
- 3 smart batteries
- Transport bag
- Tablet holder
- Multi-port usb charger
- 16GB microsd card
- 4 USB cables
- 8 Propeller blades
Design and Dimensions
Operating the Anafi thermal will be quick and hassle-free thanks to the ultra-compact design as evidenced by the 12.2” x 9.1” x 5.9” dimensions. Weighing less than a pound, the drone can travel at fast speeds because of the lightweight design.
Also, since the drone is extremely light, it won’t do much damage in the event that it crashes into something. The only downside to this lightweight is that it has a lower wind resistance. It’s easy for the light frame to be carried away by heavy winds causing random drifting.
Though it’s appreciated for its compactness, it’s generally not the sturdiest drone on the market. Other users deem the construction of the unit as flimsy compared to other beefier drones. But overall we believe the build quality is decent especially given the price and inclusion of two cameras.
Our main concern is with the design of the micro-SD card located below the battery. It features a hinged metal latch that needs to be locked into place. In our experience, such a design isn’t exactly secure as it’s prone to breakage if you forget to shut the latch.
The battery compartment is located on the back of the unit under the Parrot logo. You’ll find the removable battery easy to remove or re-attach when you want to do a quick battery swap.
The Anafi thermal features a foldable design; the front rotor arms fold backward while the rear arms are designed to fold forward. Thanks to this unique foldable design, you’ll find the drone very easy to store when not in use. And because of the small profile, it won’t be taking up much space in your bag.
Upon take-off, the drone unfolds quickly and travels at fast speeds; approximately 33mph. Note however that it’ll always stay within reach.
The Anafi thermal drone's flight time is rated at 26 minutes before it automatically returns to the take-off point.
Temperature Detection Range
This drone can detect temperature differences within the following range -14ᵒ to +752ᵒ.
This unit is designed to capture both thermal and visual images because it has two cameras. A thermal camera detect heat using radiation while visual cameras use light. This means that thermal cameras can be used in total darkness since they don’t depend on light to function.
The value of a thermal imaging camera mostly lies in the quality of the images captured. Anafi thermal recognizes this and incorporated two cameras onto the device; the FLIR thermal camera and 4K HDR camera. You can use this drone to capture both visible and invisible images.
The FLIR camera is responsible for detecting thermal differences while the 4K HDR works for visual inspection. Both cameras are designed to take accurate shots that reveal the thermal differences emitted by the objects in question.
Image accuracy is further made possible because the HDR camera features a sensor that’s designed to enhance visual inspection.
Digital Zoom and Tilting
Because the device features a gimbal that’s tilted at 180ᵒ, it can capture classic shots from the most difficult angles.
In addition, images can be zoomed up to three times with built in digital zoom to get a clearer view using the 4K camera on all resolutions. When zoomed to the highest setting, the image quality is in no way compromised.
With this drone, you’ll have full control of the settings; from how fast it must turn on each axis to how quickly the camera tilts or zooms.
FreeFlight 6 App
Earlier on we mentioned how the manufacturer prioritizes ease of use in all their products. You’ll find the Anafi Thermal pretty easy to use regardless of your experience as a drone user. This is made possible by downloading the FreeFlight 6 app which is designed to make viewing images on your device easy.
Switching from one window to the next is quick and simple. Alternatively, you can merge two windows on the same screen for better comparison and analysis of different images.
Using the same app, you can share your images and video with the relevant parties; be it your partners or customers.
The drone has a 16GB internal storage capacity which allows you to store a few images and videos. We’d have wanted it to have the option of expandable storage to store even more images but you can always delete redundant photos to make space for new footage or transfer to your computer.
Battery Life and Charging
The controller is designed to last at least two and a half hours when operating on an Android device and over five hours when using iOS. The advantage of this drone is that the battery can be charged using a standard Type C USB cable.
What this means is that even if you forget to take the charger with, you can still recharge the unit wherever you are. Simply connect the cable to a USB socket or adapter.
Unfortunately, the unit doesn’t come with a back-up battery so you need to make an additional purchase. Luckily, you can purchase spare batteries on Parrot’s website.
The product is covered by a one-year warranty period.
Generally, the Parrot Anafi Thermal drone is very easy to use and comes with many advanced features as mentioned here.
We’re only disappointed that it’s not designed to avoid obstacles; this means there might be a higher chance of collisions with this model when compared to some brands. But what it does have is a landing sensor, so you can take photos before getting too close to the subject.
But overall, it’s the ideal drone to pick especially for flight experts. Wiht over 26 minutes of flight time, the drone captures images of high quality which makes it easy to interpret gathered data. For such a high-performance unit, the drone operates extremely quietly which is a nice surprise when it comes to drones. Lastly, the slim profile and compact design allows for easy handling.
Will we be recommending the Anafi thermal to a friend? Absolutely.