French Company Rolls Out Insect-Inspired Drone


A drone flying in the sky. / Photo by: Kirahoffmann via Pixabay


Wasps and beetles were the inspiration for a new drone that was introduced by French firm Parrot during a press conference in New York City. The drone, called the Anafi, is equipped with a 21MP Sony sensor and can shoot 4K videos and HDR photos. A big advantage of the Anafi over other drones is that it is quieter during actual flight, making it less noticeable to bystanders, according to Haye Kesteloo, writing for DroneDJ. 

Anafi has a long and slender body, with a free moving gimbal at the end that can move 90 degrees upwards and downwards, and has similarities with the head of a wasp. The gimbal has 2 mechanical axes and a digital axis for stabilized video footage. On the other hand, the drone’s folding legs and protection around the gimbal were influenced by the beetle. The drone has four legs that can be folded and unfolded easily. It only weighs 320 grams and can be flown for up to 25 minutes at a maximum speed of 34 mph. A soft semi-transparent material was used in making the propellers, which are wider, shorter, and rounder than those found in other drones. There is also a USB-C port for charging the intelligent battery. 

At the heart of the Anafi are a Sony 1/2.4” CMOS 21MP IMX230 sensor with lossless zoom up to 2.8x and an Ambarella video processor. Besides shooting 4K HDR video and photos with two additional stops of light, the drone also offers 4K Cinema mode with P-Log that allows for more flexibility during post-production color processing. Controlling the Anafi is done with the Parrot Skycontroller 3 and the FreeFlight 6 mobile app.