When a natural disaster occurs, the process of finding survivors is dangerous and most times difficult. There could be unstable debris, downed power-lines or obstructions on the ground preventing access. A 23-year-old French technology company called Parrot has modified the functionality of consumer drones for use in gathering data after a disaster. The company is investing heavily in innovation and has over 350 of its employees focused on ground-breaking research and development.
The new unmanned aircraft from Parrot has the ability to help after a disaster during rescue operations. Bebop-Pro Thermal is equipped with a thermal camera that can provide a live feed to an app from the disaster area. This up-to-the-minute status information includes data, hot spots, heat emission and much more. The Bebop-Pro Thermal system is based on an updated version of the Bebop drone. Outfitted with a 14 megapixel camera, the UAV has a Flir One Pro thermal imaging camera, which can be used in different types of rescue scenarios. The drone has a flight time of 25 minutes and comes with 3 batteries, controllers and a backpack with a price tag of around $1400 which will be available in late 2017.
Parrot will also launch its mid-range professional drones to fill in a need between consumer drones and expensive commercial products. The company will also release a mini-drone for agriculture that is small enough to fit in a carry-on case. Known as the Bluegrass drone, this UAV will use a front-facing camera and a built in sensor for accuracy and precision. Bluegrass can fly for about 25 minutes and cover 30 hectares of farmland. Just like the Bebop, it will provide a live feed to an app showing farmers the health of their crops and farmland. It can also be used to monitor livestock.
Parrot is generally known for their consumer drones, but they also make commercial UAVs including fixed-wing aircraft. These devices cost over $10,000 and are used by large companies. But now, Parrot’s new drones will appeal to the budget-minded consumer who does not want to spend thousands of dollars on extravagant equipment. The new product line of Parrot drones will be easy to use and affordable, while also having some of the powerful features found on more expensive professional drones.
Parrot is trying to attract a new audience by expanding into multiple markets. These days, drones are being used by more than just hobbyists and Parrot is playing a big part in developing multi-functional consumer drones for both individual as well as large corporate organizations.