French dronemaker Parrot has created a new version of its folding Anafi quadcopter that has an onboard thermal camera. The company is pitching the drone to businesses and professionals in fields like security, search and rescue, construction, and agriculture. It’s also raising the price: the Anafi Thermal will retail for $1,900, a $1,200 increase over the cost of the regular $700 Anafi, which was released last summer. It will come with two spare batteries, a multibattery charger, a controller, and a carrying case, and it will be available in May.
The new Anafi Thermal uses a Flir Lepton infrared sensor alongside the standard camera that debuted on last year’s drone. That means it will still be capable of shooting regular 4K video, HDR+ photos and videos, and it has a 3X zoom. It will come with all of the other shooting modes and features that have been added over time via a software update.
The Anafi Thermal also has slightly slimmer folding arms, and it weighs 315 grams, which is 10 grams lighter than the original version. Parrot says this adds one minute of flight time for a total of 26 minutes.
The thermal camera has a 160 x 120 resolution, and it can measure heat between 14 and 752 degrees Fahrenheit. Parrot’s app offers a robust amount of control over the thermal camera (similar to Flir’s own infrared cameras), allowing users to measure the temperature of a specific part of an image, change color palettes, and manipulate other information coming off the infrared sensor. The app lets users shoot in either format (RGB or infrared) or blend the two (in order to add detail from the RGB sensor). They can switch between RGB and infrared images even after they’ve been saved, and they also change some of the thermal image’s parameters.
Parrot helped launch the consumer drone market with its run of AR.Drone quadcopters nine years ago. But it has since struggled to keep up with the behemoth that is China’s DJI. The original Anafi was a clear attempt to offer something as portable and powerful as DJI’s Mavic lineup of drones, though the results were a mixed bag when we reviewed it last summer. Anafi Thermal is an attempt to crack a different, more specific market, while also proving out the Anafi as a “platform” of sorts that could see other iterations in the coming years.