Consumer drones manufacturer Parrot is going professional, offering data capture and analysis packages for small- to medium-size businesses, starting with the agricultural and horticultural sectors.
The drone has the capability to cover 80ha in around 30 minutes.
Parrot is already a key player selling its popular Bebop and Disco models to the public.
However, the French company is expanding its offering having acquired interests in a number of related-technology companies, including fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) maker Airinov and software specialists MicaSense, Pix4D and senseFly.
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It is now combining products from these companies to create a crop-scouting package based on the Parrot Disco “flying wing”, customised for professional use.
The Parrot Disco-Pro AG package includes the company’s Sequoia compact multispectral sensor and Skycontroller2 long-range remote control; the flight plan app Pix4Dcapture; and access to the Airinov First+ online platform for image processing into usable maps.
A reinforced fuselage enables the pusher propeller, fixed-wing Disco-Pro AG drone to accommodate the Sequoia sensor, which captures images of crops at 14.3cm per pixel resolution in both visible and invisible spectra, including near infrared.
There is also a 16-megapixel camera and a luminosity or “sunshine” sensor that records light conditions to automatically calibrate collected data, which is stored on a 64-gigabyte memory chip.
Users can fly the drone on a pre-planned scouting route covering up to 80ha (200 acres) in around 30 minutes, or under manual control using Skyscanner2 wi-fi remote control with a 2km range.
Automatic anti-stall is included in the drone’s on-board control system, which is activated when the craft is thrown into the air, and a 14-megapixel nose camera can be used to capture video footage.