Posts tagged "On the news"

By Victoria Greene – @vickyecommerce

At the beginning of December, it will have been 5 years since Amazon kingpin Jeff Bezos announced plans for Amazon Prime Air. Initially mocked in popular culture, everyone soon realized that it’s precisely the sort of thing Amazon could and would do, and settled back to see where the chips would fall.

Today, the dream has yet to come to fruition — and other companies have followed suit in betting big on drone delivery hardware and systems — yet the smart money remains on Amazon being the big beneficiary of this automated revolution, especially since it has put so much time and money into getting it right.

amazon prime air droneCredits: Amazon Prime Air

However, by the time Amazon’s Prime Air drone fleet goes live (whether in 2019 or much later), it will need to have overcome some major hurdles that currently face all drone delivery systems. What hurdles are those? Let’s go through them.

Legally using airspace

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is still in the early stages of figuring out how it’s going to handle approval for drone fleets, and thus far its regulations have focussed on manned personal drones. To this point its limitations have been based on maintaining the privacy of citizens and protecting airspace required for other things (such as planes).

Add Prime Air to the mix and you get a tremendously complex situation. Who will be monitoring the drones, and how? How will Amazon avoid drones getting in the way of planes, particularly in busy urban areas? Presumably there will need to be an overarching cross-system network to keep everything neatly synched, but that will increase the complexity.

And in the event of something going wrong, who will ultimately hold responsibility? How will anyone know for sure? If a Prime Air drone crashes into a drone from a rival shipping company (and self-destructs, apparently), each company might claim the fault must have been with the other. It’s certainly understandable that authorities would want to take a lot of time to figure out how everything is going to work before opening the floodgates.

Public distaste for automated transport

On the topic of responsibility, there remains a lot of antipathy towards automated transport systems and smart technology in general. For better or worse, people like to feel that cars, buses, bikes, planes, trains, and, yes, drones are manually controlled. When something goes wrong, there’s someone to blame — someone to hate (and to sue if needed).

When you take the manual control away — or move it back several levels to a position of limited oversight — you attract pushback. Not only do people not want to entrust shadowy automated systems with important tasks (and even their fates), but they also don’t like the consequences in the world of employment.

Just think about what will happen if Prime Air becomes a roaring success and the drone delivery system becomes an ecommerce staple. Heavy things will still need to be shipped by road, naturally, but that will be cold comfort to the many delivery drivers likely to be pushed elsewhere to work for smaller and cheaper companies that can’t afford or justify drones.

The world of technology may have greatly expanded the business opportunities for entrepreneurial types (with a laptop and an internet connection you can take courses, start a store and sell your small business for a tidy profit), but not everyone wants to learn tech. They want to preserve their careers, and drones will prevent them from doing so. The antipathy will eventually fade, but there will be many bitter pills to swallow first.

Keeping communications secure

Amazon Prime Air will invariably have manual oversight (if only to keep investors happy and placate the public), but secure communication will be essential regardless. The more drones are in the air at any time, the more carefully they will need to be arranged to avoid clashes. But the networking demands go past that.

When you establish a high-profile network of any kind, you inevitably attract attempts to hack it: to shut it down, draw data from it, or alter its protocols somehow. Each drone will need to be able to send and receive data to and from the main Amazon system, so people will no doubt attempt to seize drones and analyze them to find a way to break into it.

Could people find ways to locate drones holding expensive items and reroute them? It’s plausible. Very unlikely, I’d say, since I don’t think Amazon would go live without being very confident in its ability to keep its software secure, but this is certainly an obstacle that will need to be completely overcome before getting anywhere.

Establishing enough fulfilment centers

Drone fleets (using today’s technology, at least) will offer incredible flexibility and convenience at the cost of range. When Prime Air was announced, it was noted that a drone delivery must be within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfilment center, which means that Amazon will need a lot more fulfilment centers if it hopes to ever make Prime Air a default delivery option.

And even if it manages to get that many fulfilment centers set up, how will stock levels be handled? The level of complexity will go through the roof. Might we see complex chains of drone deliveries, with one transporting an item to another fulfilment center to be picked up and carried along by another drone? Or will Amazon simply rely on demand prediction models and keep Prime Air as an occasional delivery method?

I don’t anticipate it replacing next-day (or even same-day) standard delivery, but I can certainly see it becoming a very common option. It won’t happen until Amazon gets the infrastructure in place, though, so let’s see how things proceed.

Amazon Prime Air has a lot of promise, but there are many challenges for it to pass before any of that promise can be fulfilled. Thankfully, once it does pass those challenges, there will be a convenient fulfilment system available to make it happen.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant

Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert and freelance writer who can’t wait to jump on the drone delivery bandwagon. You can read more of her work at her blog Victoria Ecommerce.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

Press release by Parrot  through realwire

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Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is an all-in-one quadcopter thermal imaging solution specifically designed for small construction businesses, thermal inspection professionals and public safety services.

Parrot Bebop-pro thermal

This solution enhances Parrot’s Professional range of business solutions, which launched earlier this year with Parrot Disco-Pro AG, Parrot Bebop-Pro 3D Modeling and, more recently, Parrot Bluegrass.

2017 has been a significant and busy year for Parrot, with the launch of the company’s Parrot Professional Range in Q2 2017. The new solutions combine Parrot’s consumer and commercial technologies and provide access to drone intelligence for small businesses and independent users. Just last month (September), Parrot also announced the global launch of two new additions to its consumer range – Parrot Mambo FPV and Parrot Bebop 2 Power.

With Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal, Parrot is once again affirming its commitment to innovating new solutions that benefit businesses with UAVs, sensors and software that embeds a new level of precision data, and can be plugged into existing industry workflows. Parrot Business Solutions is changing the way a large number of industries work and helps to improve ROI, efficiency and productivity.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a multipurpose quadcopter that allows construction and rescue services to safely carry out inspections, with its two embedded cameras: a full HD video camera and thermal imaging camera. 

With its front full HD video camera, this solution helps construction professionals or rescue services to visually monitor a structure or a specific area of a building, while the thermal camera captures precise and detailed thermal images – thanks to the dedicated FreeFlight Thermal app.

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Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a compact user friendly integrated solution. It is easy to set up, easy to fly and easy to repair. It lets the user live stream, record videos and take pictures of buildings, roofs, solar panels or specific areas in visual or thermal image mode. It quickly and safely provides highly accurate information and data to identify thermal loss or thermal activity, and can be used to support key decision making. 

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal solution includes:

·         A compact quadcopter with a Full HD stabilized front facing camera, a FLIR ONE® Pro thermal camera and a 32Gb memory

·         Parrot FreeFlight Thermal app, which innovatively transmits and analyses images captured by the quadcopter’s cameras

·         A long range remote control Parrot Skycontroller 2

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal: a reliable and powerful quadcopter

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is based on the all new Parrot Bebop 2 Power quadcopter, which has been modified to benefit industry professionals.

Lightweight and compact, the quadcopter can be easily carried on any site, and is ready to operate in just minutes. Thanks to the Parrot Skycontroller 2’s long range, the pilot can control the drone with precision from a safe distance from a hot spot without any risk[1]. 

Images are captured by the Parrot Bebop-Pro’s Full HD 14MP front camera and the thermal camera positioned in a dedicated module at the back of the drone. 

Parrot FreeFlight Thermal: Analyses and reveals thermal contrasts

In addition to the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal settings and flight parameters, the FreeFlight Thermal app streams images from both cameras on the quadcopter (front and thermal) directly to a connected tablet. At any time during flight, the pilot can switch from a thermal image to a HD image, record video footage, and store captured content directly to the drone’s 32GB memory.

·         Thermal imaging

Lightweight (36.5 gr) and compact, the thermal camera is equipped with two sensors. This includes a RGB sensor (1440x1080p), capturing exactly what the drone can see, and a thermal sensor (160x120p), which measures temperature differences.

Data from both sensors are combined by the FreeFlight Thermal app to create precise and detailed images. Edge surrounding details are highlighted in the image, and areas with thermal loss or hot spots can be immediately identified. Touching one part of the connected tablet’s screen will show the estimated thermal temperature captured by the sensors.

3 imaging thermal setting modes* are available:

·         Standard: Thermal images, from red (160°) to blue (10°) scale are displayed, for quick identification of thermal losses.

·         Dynamic: The thermal colour scale is adapted to the ambient temperature. This allows the user to benefit from an accurate view of the thermal losses. High temperatures are highlighted in red, and cooler temperatures are displayed in blue.

·         Hotspot: This mode is adapted for fire safety professionals and emergency search and rescue specialists. Only the highest temperatures recorded are highlighted and combined with the RGB image.

*Users can play video recorded using another colour scale setting and export them in a standard video format.

·         Visual inspection

The Full HD 14MPx front facing stabilised camera of the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal enables a visual inspection of a building, and lets the pilot to obtain videos and pictures to understand the condition of a building. Files can be saved and used to provide evidence of a building’s damage and estimate costs. 

Who is the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal designed for?

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a complete and multipurpose solution perfectly adapted for building professionals (roofers, insulation or thermal inspection specialists’), photovoltaic panel installers, and civil public safety services – such as firefighters or search & rescue. 

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal enables users to obtain an overview of the thermal losses of a building’s facade, roof or solar panels quickly and efficiently, without the need for complex and expensive material installation (ladders, scaffolding, etc.) 

Public Safety Services will be able to monitor a hot spot and, depending on results obtained, send a rescue team and materials required on site, and minimise risk.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal pack is available to purchase in November 2017 from professional drone resellers, specialist construction resellers and at www.parrot.com.

MAP.1.350£ ex. VAT

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal pack includes:

·         1 Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal drone

·         1 FLIR ONE® Pro thermal camera

·         FreeFlight Thermal* app

·         1 Parrot Skycontroller 2, long range remote control

·         3 Lithium Polymer batteries (25 minute flight time per battery[2])

·         2 chargers

·         1 back pack

* App compatible with tablets running on Android. iOS version of the app available soon. 

[1] Please check local regulations before flying.

[2] Flight time depends on weather conditions and manoeuvers.

For more info, please visit www.Parrot.com.

About Parrot Drones

Parrot Drones is a subsidiary of Parrot, founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux. 

Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals. The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:

·         Civil drones: With recreational drones and solutions for professional use.

·         Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.

·         Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.

 Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 700 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas.

 Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO)

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

Press release by Parrot  through realwire

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Parrot Bluegrass The Multipurpose Quadcopter Solution For Agriculture

Parrot Bluegrass is the first Parrot quadcopter specifically designed for agriculture, and is the latest Business Solution from Parrot joining and complementing the Parrot Professional range. This includes the Parrot Disco-Pro AG & Parrot Bebop Pro-3D Modeling, which launched earlier this year, and more recently – Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal.

Parrot Bluegrass

2017 has been a significant and busy year for Parrot, with the launch of the company’s Parrot Professional range in Q2 2017. The new solutions combine Parrot’s consumer and commercial technologies and provide access to drone intelligence for small business and independent users. Just last month (September), Parrot also announced the global launch of two new additions to its consumer range – Parrot Mambo FPV and Parrot Bebop 2 Power.

 With the launch of Parrot Bluegrass, Parrot is once again affirming its commitment to innovating new solutions that benefit businesses with UAVs, sensors and software that embeds a new level of precision data, and can be plugged into existing industry workflows. Parrot Business Solutions is changing the way a large number of industries work and helps to improve ROI, efficiency and productivity.   

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Parrot Bluegrass is a multipurpose quadcopter designed for agriculture professionals, and helps farmers improve their ROI, using its two embedded cameras; video camera and multispectral sensor. With its front Full HD video camera, this solution lets users visually monitor the farm’s infrastructure, land and herds. It also enables farmers to get a full overview and detect problem areas in all types of crop fields quickly and efficiently, thanks to its multispectral sensor designed for Precision Agriculture, Parrot Sequoia, and the easy to use processing cloud platform – AIRINOV FIRST+.

Parrot Bluegrass can automatically cover up to 30 hectares at 70 m / 230 ft. flight altitude per battery use. It can also fly at low altitudes, optimising crops that may require precise mapping. 

Parrot Bluegrass

Parrot Bluegrass is a user friendly integrated solution especially designed for farmers. It is easy to set up, easy to fly with its Pix4Dcapture autonomous flight capability, easy to process data with AIRINOV FIRST+, and easy to maintain and repair.

Parrot Bluegrass Agricultural Solution includes:

·         A powerful and easy to handle quadcopter equipped with a full HD front camera and embedded Parrot Sequoia advanced multispectral sensor.

·         Flight planning mobile application with Pix4Dcapture

·         Data processing with AIRINOV FIRST+ cloud platform

·         A long range remote control Parrot Skycontroller 2 

Parrot Bluegrass: The quadcopter designed for agriculture

·         Precision Agriculture

Parrot Bluegrass is a robust quadcopter weighing just 1.9 kg. It is fully-equipped with a powerful, on-board computing system, as well as embedding the Parrot Sequoia – an advanced multispectral sensor for Precision Agricultural solutions facilitating crop analysis. 

·         Autonomous flight and mapping

Parrot Bluegrass includes Pix4Dcapture, the world’s first planning app that enables farmers to precisely define the specific plot they want to map. 

The user adapts the flight parameters according to the precision needed and the type of crops. 

The entire flight, from take-off to landing[1], is automated by the quadcopter and the images captured by its frontal Full HD 14MP camera are streamed live on the screen of a connected tablet. 

·         Manual observation flight

As a multipurpose tool, Parrot Bluegrass can also be piloted manually using the included Parrot Skycontroller 2 Wi-Fi remote control, which provides a 2km range, with the capability to statically hover and inspect 

The solution lets farmers observe their crops from new heights and capture video footage of their land, infrastructure or livestock thanks to the drone’s HD frontal camera. Users can also inspect areas that are invisible at eye-level, identify suffering parcels or potential issues that are often missed on the ground. 

Parrot Sequoia, a miniaturized multispectral solution made for drones

Parrot Sequoia embedded in Parrot Bluegrass provides a complete and accurate multispectral imagery solution for drones that captures images of crops in both visible and invisible spectrums.

The solution consists of:

·         A multispectral sensor with GPS, that automatically records images of crops in four distinct spectral bands: green (500nm Bandwidth 40nm), red (660nm Bandwidth 40nm), red-Edge (735nm Bandwidth 10nm) and near Infrared (790nm Bandwidth 40nm).

·         A sensor equipped with a RGB camera (16 MP)

·         An internal 64GB memory to store captured images

·         A luminosity sensor (‘sunshine’ sensor) that detects lighting conditions and automatically calibrates collected data with the multispectral sensor data during the computer processing phase.

AIRINOV FIRST+, the mapping and analysing platform for multispectral images

AIRINOV FIRST+ online platform enables users to process and analyse the data and images captured by Parrot Sequoia. 

In just a few hours, the farmer receives a turnkey report composed of orthomosaic NDVI maps (absolute and adjusted) and zoning (simple and detailed). This provides a precise view of the biomass (density of vegetation) and relative health of the crops, helping professionals to determine which areas need specific attention. Professionals can use these insights to understand which areas require the most maintenance and track the effects and evolution of the farm with high precision. 

With Parrot Bluegrass, farmers and agriculture cooperatives keep the control of the data captured by the quadcopter and the analysis of these data is directly delivered to them, with no intermediary.

Who is the Parrot Bluegrass designed for?

Parrot Bluegrass is a multi-purpose business solution to help agriculture and horticulture professionals, farmers and independents make informed decisions.

With the embedded Parrot Sequoia advanced multispectral sensor enables Precision Agriculture mapping and data analysis of crops, combined with Parrot Bluegrass’s ability to fly at low altitude gives optimization for fruit crops.

Its front camera, together with the possibility to do static flights, facilitate the observation of livestock or specific areas of land or terrain. 

Parrot Bluegrass will be available in November 2017 at drone resellers, farming outlets, agricultural technology specialists and www.parrot.com  

MAP: £4.500ex VAT

Parrot Bluegrass pack content:

·         1 Parrot Bluegrass quadcopter

·         1 Parrot Sequoia

·         1 Parrot Skycontroller 2

·         1 Backpack

·         3 Batteries Lithium Polymer (25min per battery)

·         2 Chargers

·         1 Year license to AIRINOV FIRST+

·         1 Month access to Pix4Dag

[1]Please check local regulations before flying.

About Parrot Drones

Parrot Drones is a subsidiary of Parrot, founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux.

Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals. The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:

·         Civil drones: With recreational drones and solutions for professional use.

·         Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.

·         Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.

Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 700 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas.

Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO)

For more information, please visit www.parrot.com

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

A press release by Parrot, through Realwire

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Compact, ultra-light, agile and easy to pilot, the Parrot Mambo is THE ultimate fun-to-fly minidrone – and now provides a unique FPV racer experience!

Parrot Mambo FPV

Thanks to its FPV HD camera, the all new Parrot Cockpitglasses 2 (FPV goggles) and accompanying Parrot Flypad piloting controller, the Parrot Mambo FPV opens the pilot to an exciting world of fully immersive, drone racing experiences.

Ideal to fly indoors and outside in the garden, the Parrot Mambo FPV transforms its environment into a giant playground – turning everyday items around the home into obstacles and racetracks.

It also comes fully equipped with a range of brand new piloting modes, perfect to train yourself before a big race, and Parrot Mambo FPV’s new power battery provides up to 10 minutes of flight time*.

The Parrot Mambo FPV creates an all new flying experience, putting you at the heart of the cockpit, and into the role of the drone’s pilot!

Parrot Mambo FPV is available in September 2017 at Argos, Currys, Amazon.co.uk and at parrot.com.
MSRP: £159

#MamboRacingClub

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Minidrone FPV, ultimate flying experience!

Piloting the Parrot Mambo FPV transforms any room indoors into a race track!

Mambo FPV

Miniature HD Camera for live streaming and video recording

An HD camera (120° FOV) easily attaches to the top of the Parrot Mambo FPV drone using Smart Block technology, and a microSD card (not included) can be inserted to store recorded pictures and video footage.

The drone’s view is transmitted to an inserted smartphone, ideal for exploring surroundings and creating short videos (720p format) to share with friends. Thanks to the live streaming feature and the Parrot Cockpitglasses 2, the immersive flight experience is at the control of the pilot.

The Parrot Cockpitglasses 2, the ultimate and immersive birdseye view

Insert your smartphone (up to 6” in size) into the Parrot Cockpitglasses 2, which are compact, lightweight and foldable.

Their innovative design provides comfort and an optimal immersive experience, thanks to its adjustable interpupillary distance and a wide field of view of 96°.

When worn, you are fully immersed at the heart of action as the Parrot Mambo FPV soars through doorframes, weaves beneath furniture, turns right and left, and crosses the finish line. Your surroundings will pass before your eyes as you enjoy every second of this incredible flight.

Expert or beginner pilots, everyone has their own style

Parrot Mambo is a quadcopter that offers awesome flight stability. Similar to the entire Parrot drone range, the Parrot Mambo embeds the highest performing technologies and an ultra-powerful autopilot. Quick and agile, it delivers bursts of speeds of up to 30km/h – and as an expert of stunt flying, a range of airborne acrobatics!

Easy to handle and agile, the Parrot Mambo comes with three piloting modes especially designed to suit all skillsets – from beginner to expert. This includes:

·         Easy: the ideal mode for those at the early stages of piloting a drone. Everything is under control in this mode, making sure that the Parrot Mambo is stabilised both horizontally and vertically – and the autopilot assists you on each manoeuver.

·         Drift: The horizontal stabilization is disconnected. The Parrot Mambo flies with quick precision and performs sharp turns – creating a truly dynamic piloting experience.

·         Racing: This is the ultimate race mode. The autopilot is completely disconnected and piloting is at your complete control. The Parrot Mambo in Racing Mode doesn’t provide any assistance, stability is completely managed by you, and all the flight settings are in your experienced hands.

Parrot Flypad, high-precision performance

Piloting via the FreeFlight Mini app, Parrot Mambo FPV is also equipped, as a standard, with the Parrot Flypad controller.

It offers precise piloting thanks to the customisable joystick and button controls, with an accompanying reach of up to 100 meters.

Parrot Mambo FPV includes a new Power battery, offering up to 10 min. flight time in one charge (without accessory).

* without accessory

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Code your Parrot Minidrone

Did you know? Parrot Education has been created by Parrot to support academic and non-profit institutions to enable the adoption of drone use in classrooms, labs and fields.
Parrot Education developed strong collaborations with renowned companies so educators can teach students STEM skills, such as geometry, science, art, physics and coding, and so kids can continue to learn coding at home.

·         Parrot is featured in Swift Playgrounds, the free iPad app from Apple. With Parrot’s new playground, available in six languages, kids (and adults) can program and control Parrot drones using real Swift code. (https://www.apple.com/swift/playgrounds/).

·         Tynker strengthened its partnerships with Parrot by deploying its curriculum on tablets, in six languages and in making a new offer available to any private individuals, so the apprenticeship can continue at home, after school. (https://www.tynker.com/learn-to-code/code-this-drone/).

·         Workbench had built a revolutionary platform which connects educators from all over the world so they can share their activities within the educational community. The “Parrot Flight School” now makes it possible to write code and to control your drone directly from a web browser.

For more information on Parrot Education: http://edu.parrot.com

Parrot Mambo FPV is available in September 2017 at leading consumer electronic stores, e-commerce websites and at parrot.com.

Parrot Mambo FPV pack includes:

·         1 Parrot Mambo
·         1 FPV HD camera
·         1 Parrot Cockpitglasses 2
·         1 Parrot Flypad
·         1 set of propeller’s protection
·         1 High Capacity Battery
·         1 USB/Micro USB cable
·         1 Quick start guide

Parrot Mambo is from now available in 3 versions:

Parrot Mambo Fly

1 Parrot Mambo
1 set of propeller protectors
1 Battery
1 USB/Micro USB cable
1 Quick start guide

£99

Parrot Mambo Mission

1 Parrot Mambo
1 Cannon
1 Grabber
1 Clip
1 Parrot Flypad
1 set of propeller protectors
1 Power Battery
1 USB/Micro USB cable
1 Quick start guide

£139

Parrot Mambo FPV

1 Parrot Mambo
1 FPV HD camera
1 Parrot Cockpitglasses 2
1 Parrot Flypad
1 set of propeller protectors
1 Power battery
1 USB/Micro USB cable
1 Quick start guide

£159

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#MamboRacingClub #WeAreParrot

For more information please visit parrot.com

About Parrot Drones

Founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux, Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals.

The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:
·         Civil drones: With recreational drones and solutions for professional use.
·         Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.
·         Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.

Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 700 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas.

Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO) — www.parrot.com

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

By Victoria Greene – @vickyecommerce

The ecommerce industry is one area that really stands to benefit from the increased use of drones in our society, especially when it comes to logistical evolution. As drones become easier to control and are given greater levels of autonomy by legislators, their commercial uses will only continue to increase. The future of drones and ecommerce is bright and promising. Here are a few things that we might be able to expect in the years to come, from same-day deliveries across the globe to drone-based photography services.

drone at sunset

Used By Big Businesses

Drones are already used by businesses like Amazon, who plans to have 80-90% of its deliveries fulfilled by drones in future. As the technology becomes more prevalent, more and more businesses are going to start doing the same. Amazon is a huge industry influencer and if it comes up with a new initiative, you can be sure that everyone else will be vying for a slice of the pie. Amazon has the ability to wield its enormous influence and purchase power, but eventually drone delivery should trickle out to smaller retailers and brands too. (It’s predicted that a lot of large businesses will pay for their drones by renting them out).

Drones Powering the Future of Delivery

The more that drones are used, the more convenient home deliveries will be. Consider the following ways in which drones will impact the delivery experience across the globe:

  • Same-day delivery is something some Amazon already offers and it’s only going to become more popular — drones will help drive this trend and eventually same day will go down to delivery within hours. Shopify’s recent partnership with Uber is a great example of how ecommerce companies are constantly innovating in order to cut down delivery times and costs — whether that’s with drones or Ubers!
     
  • Drones will initially be expensive to purchase, but once businesses have them, the cost of delivery will go down as their maintenance will be cheaper than postal service costs. Eventually postal services and delivery couriers will also use drones for delivery— normalizing their use and consolidating flight routes to minimize disruption
     
  • With drones easily able to fly to specific addresses, the number of parcels misdelivered as a result of human error will decrease significantly. People living in remote areas are already benefitting from medical drones, and commerce will soon follow
     
  • Weekend deliveries will become increasingly common: Sunday deliveries will no longer be so rare as there will be less need for human labor

Quality Of Life Improvements

It’s easy to think about the ways in which the average consumer will benefit from the ecommerce application of drones, but it’s no exaggeration to say that their use will actually mean a genuine improvement in the quality of life for some people. Here are some examples:

  • If somebody is suffering from a chronic illness, drone deliveries will help to ensure that they can get the treatments they need. Currently, somebody might have a fair wait on their hands before they can get hold of their medicine if they forget to ask for a repeat prescription
     
  • Drones can help vulnerable communities and roadless areas get access to crucial supplies, even during times of conflict
     
  • In less extreme situations, if somebody found that they had a splitting headache and there were no painkillers in the house (for example), a drone could get it to them much more quickly than any other method
     
  • Food could be delivered to most locations much more quickly and much more easily. Many less mobile people already depend upon home delivery services for their food and the better these services become, the better the quality of life will be for these people

Drone-Related Services

While home delivery is the main area in which drones will be useful, there’ll also be some room for specialist drone-related services. We have already touched on the B2B application, with larger businesses renting out their drones to smaller businesses in order to get a return on their investment, but drones can provide further services to benefit the average consumer.

  • Photographers are using drones in order to create pieces of aerial photography that would otherwise have not been possible. People are already selling drone photography and footage, and this is an area of photography that’s likely to grow
     
  • Farmers will be able to purchase drone services to keep their crops watered and free of pests
     
  • People might soon be able to pay for drone security services A business could easily provide a drone monitoring system and a customer could pay and handle it all online. If it’s taking in CCTV footage, that footage could be tied to an account on an ecommerce website, which the user simply logs in to access. It could also easily be provided as a subscription service
     

The Future Is Uncertain

While we can hazard a guess that drones will be used for X, Y and Z, we can never be entirely sure about what will catch on with the general populace. There are probably some innovators out there right now, working on some drone applications that nobody else has even considered yet! Equally, the next big scientific breakthrough could occur and leave drones obsolete. You always have to take predictions about the future with a pinch of salt.

What we’re seeing is that the commercial use of drones is becoming increasingly widespread. The benefits of using drones are obvious and it’s all a matter of accessibility. As soon as they are within the reach of smaller businesses, you’ll almost certainly be seeing a lot more drone deliveries and drone-related services out there. It could really revolutionize the ecommerce world. Which drone applications are you most excited about?  

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant

I work with ecommerce businesses & marketing teams to create content and targeted digital strategies. To succeed at what I do, I always have to be looking to the future and trying to figure out how things are going to change and evolve. Never a dull moment!

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

Thanks to David from DronesBuy.net for sharing this nice story and infographic with us! Make sure you check out his nice original full article at https://www.dronesbuy.net/history-of-drones/ 

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If you’re on this site, you’re already familiar with the incredible drone revolution going on these days.

Personal drones are becoming more and more popular, their prices are coming down, their technology is getting better and simply put, they become more accessible to more people- that’s why you keep hearing about them all over the place.

Personal drones however, have evolved, like much of our cutting edge technology from a more scary past – a military past. The commercial and consumer drone revolution has both an interesting, a curious and even a more terrifying past – the history of drones is, in fact, extremely interesting.

It’s interesting to read and understand how drones technology has come about and how it has matured over the years – incredibly drones have been evolving for more than two centuries. Quite a lot of different technologies had to come together to eventually enable the current version of drones.

The following Infographic from DronesBuy.net fully explains the timeline of the historical evolution of drones as it happened through the ages, from the first ever unmanned hot-air balloon flight, to the current usage of personal and commercial drones.

History of drones infographicHistory of drones infographic

But let me tease your curiosity with a few questions about the history of drones:

  • Did you know that the first unmanned vehicle flight took place in 1782 by the Montgolfier brothers?
  • Did you know that the first historical military use of drones first occurred in 1848 in Austria?
  • Did you know that Tesla (the inventor not the car) played an important part in the evolution of the history of drones?
  • Did you know that the first drone which could take photos was deployed at the end of the 19th century?
  • Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was discovered when working within a military drone facility?
  • Did you know that beyond personal drones, these days synchronised UAVs are being used to create spectacular lighting effects in concerts such as the Superbowl by artists such as Lady Gaga?

Have a look at the infographic above, or click on the image to read the full article about the full history of drones and UAVs.

Press release by Parrot

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Set off into the great outdoors and discover new horizons with the limited edition Parrot Bebop 2 and Parrot Disco Adventurer packs.

 Both packs are tailor made for adventurers and designed to meet the demands of a new generation of explorer, equipped with lightweight, ergonomic backpacks that include all of the flying essentials. This includes: 

·         Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer: a Parrot Bebop 2 quadcopter; a Parrot Skycontroller 2 controller; one pair of Parrot Cockpitglasses FPV goggles; one battery offering 25 minutes of flight time; and the Follow Me GPS and visual tracking app

Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer packParrot Bebop 2 Adventurer pack

·         Parrot Disco Adventurer: a Parrot Disco fixed wing drone; a Parrot Skycontroller 2 controller; one Parrot Cockpitglasses FPV goggles; two batteries offering up to 90 minutes of flight time; the Flight Plan app, to create autonomous flight

Parrot Disco Adventurer packParrot Disco Adventurer pack

You’ll never miss a shot using Follow Me or Flight Plan app, which is free to download as part of the Adventurer Packs. Soar your drone over unexplored spaces and take pictures of the world around you from new heights. 

Price and availability:

The limited edition Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer pack is available from June 2017 at major retailers and parrot.com

MSRP: £519.99 

The limited edition Parrot Disco Adventurer pack is available, from June 2017 at parrot.com

MSRP: £879.99

Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer: Set off on a journey!

Lightweight (500 gr), ultra-compact and easy to carry in a specially designed, ergonomic Adventurer backpack – the Parrot Bebop 2 is ideal for the great outdoors.

Equipped with a number of sensors, Parrot Bebop 2 can be piloted easily via the Parrot FreeFlight Pro app or Parrot Skycontroller remote control for more accurate handling.

The drone’s flight stability and maneuverability are impressive and unrivaled. Reaching speeds of up to 60km/h and offering up to 25 minutes[2] of flight time – it is truly powerful! 

·         Capture your exploits in full HD

Parrot Bebop 2 is equipped with a 14MP front camera with a fish-eye lens, to capture your flight in Full HD videos and photographs, without any distortion. 

Want to take to the skies and discover a bird’s eye view of the world with an adventure partner? Place the FPV Parrot Cockpitglasses[1] on and enjoy the spectacle!

·         It will follow you as your shadow

The all in one Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer pack enables you to benefit from Parrot Follow Me GPS and visual tracking app. Participating in sports and activities such as running, climbing, mountain biking, or if you want to take a ‘dronie’ with friends, start the ‘Follow Me’ feature and Parrot Bebop 2 will shadow you, keeping you at the centre of the image. To capture recorded videos, the app gives access to pre-registered movements – including Zenith, Orbit, Parabola, Boomerang and more…

Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer pack is available, as a limited edition, from June 2017 in stores and at parrot.com

Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer Pack content: 1 Parrot Bebop 2; 1 Parrot Skycontroller; 1 Parrot Cockpitglasses; 1 Parrot Follow Me GPS and visual tracking app; 1 backpack. 

Parrot Disco Adventurer: An intense flying experience!

With a delta wing fuselage, Parrot Disco offers an extraordinary flying experience.

Lightweight (750gr) and compact, the drone can be piloted easily with the Skycontroller 2 remote control and offers up to 2km range[1]. Its autopilot feature manages the Parrot Disco’s take-off and landing autonomously, and assists you during the entire flight – ensuring you can be focused on enjoying the flying experience.

Its engine power and the unique aerodynamic wings allow the Parrot Disco to reach impressive speeds of 80km/h, while its battery offers up to 45 minutes[2] of extreme sensations. 

·         Explore the world!

During your flight, the front 14MP Full HD camera will live stream the beautiful landscape you fly over via a connected tablet or smartphone. For an intense experience, put the Parrot Cockpitglasses FPV goggles, and you’ll be immersed at the heart of the action. Each turn, each nosedive, each speed acceleration of the Parrot Disco will give you a rush of adrenalin.

·         Create perfect flights

Parrot Disco Adventurer Pack comes with the Flight Plan[1] app to create tailor made flight paths. Choose a map and select the different points to be followed by the drone, adjust the flight altitude and the camera settings – including video recording, angle of the camera, etc.

The flight plan can also be set before going to the area selected to perform the flight. Once on site, let the Parrot Disco take-off and it will follow the path you defined. If a path or camera movement is not as you require, you can save your flight plans on the app and you can adjust or change the entire path, or only few parts, and repeat the flight as you wish.

After a flight, remove the Parrot Disco wings and place the drone, including all accessories, into the dedicated backpack.

Parrot Disco 2 Adventurer pack is available, as a limited edition, from June 2017 at parrot.com 

Parrot Disco Adventurer Pack: 1 Parrot Disco; 1 Parrot Skycontroller 2;1 Parrot Cockpitglasses; 2 batteries (up to 90 min of flight time); 1 Flight Plan app; 1 backpack. 

[1] Please check local regulations before flying with a drone.

[2] Theoretical flight time for one battery fully charged. Flight time may change depending on product use, maneuvers managed and weather conditions. 

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Fly responsibly!

Expert and novice pilots should take responsibility when commanding a leisure drone and respect the rules and regulations. 

To fully enjoy a drone flight, Parrot recalls some usual rules:

– Never lose sight of your drone;

– Do not approach or film people without their consent;

– Be very careful to privacy;

– Do not exceed the maximum authorized altitude in your country;

– Do not fly near airports, military bases, industrial zones and other sensitive areas;

– Do not fly over populated and urban areas;

– Do not fly in rain, snow, fog, strong wind or at night;

– Do not fly over stations, rails lines and highways.

Access safety instructions here

Parrot recommends you always take note of the local regulations.

Press Release

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MicroPilot autopilots have achieved STANAG 4586 compatibility through integration with Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems software ecosystem.

June 1st, 2017 – Stony Mountain, Canada – Working with Lockheed Martin CDL Systems, MicroPilot Inc. has developed a Vehicle Specific Module (VSM) to communicate with STANAG 4586 compliant ground control station (GCS) software. This will enable MicroPilot customers to utilize Lockheed Martin’s many previously unavailable tools as part of its unmanned systems software ecosystem with over 1.5 million flight hours worldwide.

Micropilot autopilotMicropilot autopilot

STANAG 4586 is a NATO standard interface for Unmanned Control System and UAV interoperability. MicroPilot was able to cooperate with Lockheed Martin CDL Systems to create the VSM to make MicroPilot autopilot’s able to communicate with Lockheed Martin’s mGCS software, which is STANAG 4586 compliant.

“We are pleased that MicroPilot has invested in to STANAG 4586 compatibility and specifically integration with Lockheed Martin CDL Systems.” Says John Molberg, Business Development manager at CDL systems. “We are two proud companies who have been in the unmanned systems market for decades. This investment allows Micropilot customers access to our unmanned systems software ecosystem. Users can utilize our STANAG 4586 enabled software, such as our mobile Ground Control Station, optimized for controlling multiple disparate small UAS systems for military, civil and commercial uses. Further, these users are now immediately compatible with our Hydra Fusion Tools companion software which creates a complete spatial picture of a drone’s operational environment, including the ability to create real-time 3D maps.”

MicroPilot customers now have more options and utilities than ever to get the most out of their MicroPilot autopilots and the STANAG 4586 compatibility provides opportunities and attractive options for new customers as well.

About MicroPilot

Started in 1994, with 1000 clients in over 85 countries, MicroPilot is the world leader in professional autopilots for UAVs and MAVs. MicroPilot is an ISO 9001 autopilot manufacturer to bring to market an ISO 9001 sub 30 gram autopilot, triple redundant autopilot, and full-function general purpose autopilot. MicroPilot offers a family of lightweight UAV autopilots that can fly fixed-wing, transitional, helicopter, and multirotor UAVs. MicroPilot also provides complementary products such as the XTENDERmp SDK, and trueHWIL2.

Latvia, Riga – March 7, 2017 – Before the introduction of small UAVs for aerial photogrammetry, planes, helicopters and metric cameras were used. Not only was this costly, it was also complex due to the images being taken from high altitudes. UAVs have made aerial mapping more affordable, faster and precise. When it comes to planning survey missions for small UAVs, UgCS is the right software for the job. It supports most UAV platforms and provides useful tools such as Photogrammetry tool, Image geotagging tool and other.

UgCS Photogrammetry for land surveyUgCS Photogrammetry for land survey

The Photogrammetry tool in UgCS allows creating and flying photogrammetry missions with ease. After selecting the area and entering desired parameters, UgCS will automatically calculate the route. Some of the adjustable parameters include: ground sample distance (GSD), forward and side overlap, automatic camera and gimbal control commands, overshoot parameter, ability to choose an altitude type – constant altitude above ground (AGL) or above mean sea level (AMSL) and more. UgCS makes it possible to survey irregular areas with just one route. This is done by combining multiple areas into a single route instead of splitting them into multiple routes.

UgCS photogrammetry, altitude type

The images obtained during the flight can be geotagged by syncing them with telemetry data using the Geotagging tool that’s in-built in UgCS. Moreover, the data from all flights is saved in UgCS, allowing them to be replayed at any time.

UgCS photogrammetry, AGL with additional waypoints

UgCS supports GeoTiff file import. This means that after flying a survey route and mapping the area, the map can be imported back into UgCS to plan the next flight with increased precision.

UgCS photogrammetry, complex survey area

In collaboration with land surveying professionals, we have published a detailed guide to using UgCS Photogrammetry tool for land surveying. It is published onwww.ugcs.com and features step-by-step instructions and a video tutorial.

UgCS photogrammetry, map importUgCS photogrammetry, map import

Resources:

UgCS photogrammetry technique for land surveying:
https://www.ugcs.com/en/page/photogrammetry-tool-for-land-surveying
Video tutorial UgCS Photogrammetry tool:
https://youtu.be/SalCQoG6WUw
About UgCS

UgCS is a software developed by SPH Engineering for central management of all types and manufacturers of unmanned vehicles, enabling to control one or a fleet of drones on a single mission in multi operator mode and multi-platform environments. Ease of integration and adding support for new vehicles or payloads is achieved by modular architecture of UgCS. SPH Engineering offers unmanned systems integration services: building, acquiring and consulting on selection of airframes, autopilots, payloads for particular application and performing proof of concept projects and software development. More: www.ugcs.com

Latvia, Riga – March 7, 2017 – Before the introduction of small UAVs for aerial photogrammetry, planes, helicopters and metric cameras were used. Not only was this costly, it was also complex due to the images being taken from high altitudes. UAVs have made aerial mapping more affordable, faster and precise. When it comes to planning survey missions for small UAVs, UgCS is the right software for the job. It supports most UAV platforms and provides useful tools such as Photogrammetry tool, Image geotagging tool and other.

UgCS Photogrammetry for land surveyUgCS Photogrammetry for land survey

The Photogrammetry tool in UgCS allows creating and flying photogrammetry missions with ease. After selecting the area and entering desired parameters, UgCS will automatically calculate the route. Some of the adjustable parameters include: ground sample distance (GSD), forward and side overlap, automatic camera and gimbal control commands, overshoot parameter, ability to choose an altitude type – constant altitude above ground (AGL) or above mean sea level (AMSL) and more. UgCS makes it possible to survey irregular areas with just one route. This is done by combining multiple areas into a single route instead of splitting them into multiple routes.

UgCS photogrammetry, altitude type

The images obtained during the flight can be geotagged by syncing them with telemetry data using the Geotagging tool that’s in-built in UgCS. Moreover, the data from all flights is saved in UgCS, allowing them to be replayed at any time.

UgCS photogrammetry, AGL with additional waypoints

UgCS supports GeoTiff file import. This means that after flying a survey route and mapping the area, the map can be imported back into UgCS to plan the next flight with increased precision.

UgCS photogrammetry, complex survey area

In collaboration with land surveying professionals, we have published a detailed guide to using UgCS Photogrammetry tool for land surveying. It is published onwww.ugcs.com and features step-by-step instructions and a video tutorial.

UgCS photogrammetry, map importUgCS photogrammetry, map import

Resources:

UgCS photogrammetry technique for land surveying:
https://www.ugcs.com/en/page/photogrammetry-tool-for-land-surveying
Video tutorial UgCS Photogrammetry tool:
https://youtu.be/SalCQoG6WUw
About UgCS

UgCS is a software developed by SPH Engineering for central management of all types and manufacturers of unmanned vehicles, enabling to control one or a fleet of drones on a single mission in multi operator mode and multi-platform environments. Ease of integration and adding support for new vehicles or payloads is achieved by modular architecture of UgCS. SPH Engineering offers unmanned systems integration services: building, acquiring and consulting on selection of airframes, autopilots, payloads for particular application and performing proof of concept projects and software development. More: www.ugcs.com