French drone manufacturer Parrot has taken an interesting sideways step into the commercial market this week. The company has announced that two of its latest consumer drones are being repurposed to meet the needs of professionals in agriculture, mapping and inspection, for industries ranging from construction to real estate.
Parrot announced that more than a third of its drone division was being laid off at the start of the year as part of a reorganization. Although its consumer drones have remained popular despite fierce competition from American and Asian competitors, CEO Henri Seydoux has decided to shift – like many operators in the drone industry have been doing – towards commercial products and services.
But Parrot is in a stronger position than most to make the pivot. Since 2012 the company has been steadily acquiring commercial drone startups and stakes in the likes of AIRINOV, MicaSense, Pix4D and senseFly.
Now is the time for its easy-to-use consumer drones and its leading commercial technology to come together.
Parrot’s new professional range of end-to-end packages include upgraded versions of the company’s consumer drones and software licenses. They’ve been designed to be put to work straight off the shelf.
Many of our readers will be familiar with the Parrot Bebop 2 and the spectacular Parrot Disco. The company is repurposing both to suit commercial operations.
The Bebop 2 gets an upgrade
The Bebop 2 will come in two packages:
- Parrot Bebop-Pro 3D Modeling
Targeted at professionals, such as real estate agents, architects, craftsmen and property insurance brokers. This package will allow them to easily create promotional videos or interactive 3D models for quotes and site supervision.
The Parrot Bebop-Pro 3D Modeling pack includes a Parrot Bebop 2 drone, a Parrot Skycontroller 2 remote control, the Pix4Dcapture app to automatically capture aerial images and a Pix4Dmodel software package to process images and create 3D models.
It will be available in June 2017 for $1,100 + tax.
- Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal
The thermal model will provide a toolkit for inspection and thermal detection companies, roofers, plumbers, building workers and firefighters.
Availability and pricing to be announced.
Disco revival for the commercial market
The Parrot Disco is being repurposed as an all-in-one mapping solution for precision agriculture. The fixed drone is simple to launch and has a flight time that far outstrips any multi-rotor drone on the market. It will be available with several apps and attachments to meet the evolving needs of farmers.
In conjunction with the new software and hardware offerings, the Parrot Disco can now autonomously produce an accurate map complete with visible and invisible multispectral images of crops. Nearly 200 acres can be covered in half an hour. This package will cost $5,000 when it’s available in June – not bad for the commercial market.
Taking the best of the best from the Parrot ecosystem
Speaking exclusively to DroneLife at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2017 in Dallas, Chris Roberts, VP and managing director of Parrot explained that the new Professional packages will act as a bridge between their consumer and commercial products. As well as providing a complete solution for individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, they’re making the buying process easier.
“It’s about bringing the best of the best from the Parrot ecosystem,” said Roberts. “What we are doing is taking the proven consumer drone, making slight modifications and embedding a high-precision sensor. By adding the post-analysis software we can provide everything that you need to get going for a multi-purpose work tool.”