Articles by: cpdiver

  • First Look: Parrot Release First Details of New 4K Consumer Drone ANAFI

    First Look: Parrot Release First Details of New 4K Consumer Drone ANAFI

    It certainly has been a little while since Parrot released a consumer drone, but while they have been quiet they have had a team of engineers working on a new design in Paris.

    ANAFI, is a complete re-design compared to previous Parrot drones looking more insect like with new features and capabilities. For the development of this new drone Parrot has had a big shape up of the entire company mobilizing this new step.

    It looks like Parrot has listened to feedback regarding previous drones released and have been brought up to date in regards to consumer demand.

    So the ANAFI, what do you need to know?

    The drone appears to be portable with a rugged foldable design more like the Mavic Pro and the Air, the drone has a USB-C charging system which can charge with phone and PC chargers. It connects by car, a computer, the cable of a smartphone or a ‘power bank’ It also has a 4k HDR camera with zoom, a 21MPsensor, a 3-axis stabilization system with, for the first time, a 180 ° vertically rotating camera and a lossless zoom up to x2, 8.

    The specified flight also looks good at 25 minutes which is made possible by a ‘bio-inspired’ design combined with a smart battery.

    A new intuitive app will also be available with automated movements of the drone and the camera.

    Looking at the design the inspiration from insects is evident, which is also backed up by Parrot stating that the design is based on the anatomical structure of insects.
    .
    ANAFI is divided into 3: the head (the camera and the gimbal), the thorax (the electronics and the mechanics is gathered in the centre), the abdomen (it is the big battery on the scale of the drone) Parrot stated

    “This design principle has proven to be very functional. It is sturdy, lightweight, well balanced and folds very easily”

    “The field of vision is very clear, the gimbal is protected. The electrical connections are short. Despite an exhausting development the Parrot engineers have surpassed themselves. They have identified the main challenges that the company has imposed to realize this new generation drone, half robot, half insect”
     
    The drone is compact and weighs in at 320g which Parrot says is down to a unique assembly of carbon fibre filled with hollow glass microbeads without compromising its robustness and performance.


    ANAFI uses a latest-generation Sony IMX230 sensor and an Ambarella video processor to produce spectacular 4K HDR (30fps) and 21MP photos.

    4K camera and 21MP sensor
    ANAFI films in 4K HDR and 4K Cinema (4096 x 2160). The implementation of HDR videos in 4K is a real technological feat, Parrot says the ANAFI is the only drone on the market to do this.

    HDR enhances the rendering of backdrop scenes for incredibly detailed video and balance between light and shadow. Ideal for filming a sunset or a very bright sky for example. The 4K Cinema format offers more pixels on a 17: 9 ratio for professional quality videos.

    ANAFI, through its dedicated mobile application FreeFlight 6, allows you to choose between three video modes:
    ·         4K Cinema: 24 fps
    ·         4K UHD: 24, 25, 30 fps
    ·         1080p: 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 or 60 fps

    A revolutionary gimbal
    ANAFI’s camera is mounted on a “gimbal” stabilized on 3 axes that combine the best of mechanical and digital stabilizations.

    Lightweight and hyper-powerful, the stabilized gimbal on 2 axes makes it possible to take photos and videos hitherto impossible to achieve with a drone of this category thanks to a vertical tilt of -90 ° to + 90 °!

    It can also tilt horizontally from -40 ° to + 40 ° to ensure stabilization of the horizon, whatever the flight conditions.

    In addition, the digital stabilization provides + 5 ° to -5 ° EIS in the direction of flight allowing impeccably well-kept travelling’s when the drone is driving at high speed.

    This unique system limits the angular vibration to 0.004 ° for super stable photos and videos.

    The camera is equipped with a wide-angle lens (110 °) with 2 aspherical lenses designed to limit stray light and chromatic aberrations, regardless of the light conditions.

    A lossless zoom
    ANAFI is equipped with a lossless zoom of x1.4 in 4K and x2.8 in full HD (1080p) It is also possible to zoom in x3 in digital zoom.

    The oversampling technique was used to create a lossless digital zoom. This involves capturing more pixels than necessary, then resizing the image to create a zoom effect while maintaining the same pixel size.

    ANAFI Image Shot

    This is possible thanks to the ANAFI 21MP sensor (5344×4016) which offers 1.4x resolution higher than 4K (3840×2160) and 2.8x higher than 1080p (1920×1080). You discover, from a distance, unsuspected details of a building, take a close-up of your children or observe wild animals without disturbing them.

    ANAFI also has a unique effect: the Dolly Zoom. Automatic, this feature allows you to zoom in on a fixed subject while moving the background away. A bluffing and fully automated effect used by great movie directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick who made it a cinematographic reference.

    Professional settings
    Experts and professionals of the photo / video can access and modify the settings:

    The resolution of the photo:
    WIDE : 21 MP – 4:3 (5344×4016)
    RECTILINEAR : 12MP – 4:3 (4000×3000)
    Photo format:
    JPEG and DNG-RAW
    The shutter speed: 1 to 1/10000s
    White balance: Tungsten, Warm fluo, Cool fluo, Sunny, Cloudy, Green, Blue Sky
    Exposure value (EV) : -3.0 to 3.0
    The rendering: Natural, P-LOG (Parrot-LOG)

    Power and Intelligence
    While ANAFI has exceptional photo and video capabilities, it also displays outstanding performance for such a compact and lightweight drone.

    A smart battery
    It is a smart polymer lithium battery optimized to obtain the best power density in a small volume and a high rate of discharge, which allows ANAFI to achieve an exceptional flight time of 25 minutes for a drone of its size.

    In addition, the ANAFI battery continuously monitors its charge level (regardless of the temperature and ageing of the cell). During a flight, ANAFI evaluates the load level and returns to its take-off position.

    The ANAFI battery has an integrated charger, compatible with the latest USB standard (USB-C) and can thus be charged via a phone charger, powerbank or laptop. It adapts to the power source, the charge is faster when it identifies a powerful charger.

    The ANAFI battery has a hibernation mode to protect its internal chemistry. To activate it, the user must fully charge it before the first flight.

    An ultra-silent flight
    ANAFI’s its shape, the materials used and, the design of its propellers … have been optimized to make it the quietest drone in its class.

    Omnidirectional Wi-Fi
    Each foot of ANAFI is equipped with a dual-band antenna (2.4GHz & 5GHz) to ensure an optimal connection with the remote control Parrot Skycontroller 3 regardless of the orientation of the drone.

    This omnidirectional transmission system uses Wi-Fi compliant protocols developed by Parrot.

    ANAFI constantly monitors its Wi-Fi environment in order to switch to another channel when the one it uses is too crowded. Parrot says this guarantees optimal spectrum utilization performance and allows ANAFI to fly up to 4kms, for example in the mountains without obstacles or interference, keeping video transmission.

    Impressive flight performances
    The FreeFlight 6 application offers two manual control modes: Film and Sport. In sport mode, ANAFI achieves speed peaks up to 55km/h (33 mph) and withstands winds of 50km/h (31 mph)

    Users can customize settings such as the inclination of the drone, its rotation speed, the speed of the camera tilt, etc.

    Ease of use
    A new dedicated application: FreeFlight 6
    The FreeFlight 6 application has been developed for ANAFI and offers a modern and intuitive interface.

    The main features are accessible directly from the home page. The flight interface adapts to all users: Beginners have access to automatic control modes, such as SmartDronies or CineShots; professional photographers can select or customize camera settings.

    The FreeFlight 6 application and the Skycontroller 3 long-range remote control have been jointly developed. The interaction between the two allows users to control the movement of the gimbal and the zoom with two dedicated keys very convenient. And change the settings directly on the smartphone screen.

    Automatic movements
    ANAFI offers automatic control modes: the SmartDronies, the cameraman mode and the Follow Me, which use a neural network to revaluate the target track for each image, with a focus on the shape recognition tracking system. A learning process was carried out by the Parrot engineers with a database of images of people and vehicles.

    ANAFI can be pre-ordered today and will be in store from July 1st, 2018 for 699€ / $699 / £ 649 in selected consumer electronics retailers, on Amazon.com and Parrot.com.

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  • 5 Things I Discovered at Commercial UAV Expo Europe – Part II

    5 Things I Discovered at Commercial UAV Expo Europe – Part II

    Commercial UAV Expo Europe took place in Amsterdam this year, and it was an event that saw everything from insights about surveying & mapping challenges across the continent to innovative solutions like the hydrogen fuel cells for UAVs that BMPower is building. Before I went to the event, I published a blog that laid out five things I was watching out for at the Expo, and I’ve already explored what I experienced at the Expo regarding the maturity of the industry and some of the new use cases. Now it’s time to detail those last three items…

     

    Benoit Curdy speaking during the session that detailed the current state of the regulatory framework in Europe

    3. Where are we with the EU’s UAS traffic management system (UTM / U-Space)?
    My key takeaway in relation to the EU’s U-Space is that it is not one ‘thing’. As Benoit Curdy from the Global UTM Association stated, “It’s a system of systems, delivering different services for different requirements but all coordinated.” My follow-on takeaway is that it’s really complex. There are many ‘systems’, many functionalities and many stakeholders that need be coordinated. The EU has an ambitious roadmap to make U-Space a reality. And remember they are not just focused on integrating drones as we know them today into European airspace.

    The plan looks to incorporate ‘everything’ that will be in the airspace. That includes Civilian & Military craft, Emergency Responders, High Altitude drones, all sorts of commercial drones including potentially parcel delivery, as well as drone taxis. It’s a huge undertaking, split into multiple phases.

    The 1st phase, labeled U1, is set to be enabled in 2019, which will see basic services like registration, e-identification and geo-fencing. For a good overview of what we can expect to see in the coming 18 months or so, I’d recommend you have a read of the recent update published on Commercial UAV News.

    I was also curious to find out more about the industry’s perspective on Galileo, the EU’s Global Satellite Navigation System. Now I have to admit, unless you are specifically chatting to someone about GNSS, Galileo is not something that comes up in conversation all that often. That said, most were aware that the GNSS components that are in most commercial drones today, and other survey equipment uses the Galileo constellation. They also support the Russian GLONASS and China’s BeiDou. So under the covers, Galileo is being used today.

    What was not evident at the event was anybody demonstrating a competitive advantage you would get by using some of Galileo’s advanced capabilities, especially say in urban areas. This work is just starting. The EU is currently funding a number of projects via Horizon2020 and other initiatives that should highlight the benefits of using Galileo for such use cases. As Galileo’s full capabilities do not come online until 2020, there’s a window of opportunity here.

     

    4. 5G or not 5G …
    Honestly, 5G was not a big topic of conversation during the event. The general consensus was that 5G is still far away in 2020+. Everyone agrees that greater bandwidth, lower latency & ubiquitous coverage would be great to have. Such capabilities would enable all sorts of new use cases around the ability to stream high-def video in real time, enable location and identification of drones in U-Space and assuming ubiquitous coverage everywhere, potentially enable the communications required for BVLOS flights.

    However, no one was under any illusion that this is going to happen quickly. There’s a huge amount of investment required to build 5G networks, and even if someone has all the money, there are technology challenges. Building out a 5G network in urban environments is one thing. Building out a 5G network for ubiquitous coverage in rural and remote areas is another thing altogether given the small cell architecture. There are issues around signal propagation, more interference and cell association. Now I’m sure these technology challenges will be overcome in time. They always are.

    Bottom line to me is, 5G ‘should’ be great but it’s not something we’re going to be using in the next couple years. Certainly not in Europe. However, we might see a faster buildout of 5G networks in the US and China.

     

     

    The Drone Hero Europe 2018 winners.

    5. Drone Hero
    The drone hero competition had a slightly different format this year. A short list of companies in each of the three categories presented their solutions to the audience, and more importantly, the judging panel. Every company on the short list deserves credit for their innovation and drive to get stuff done.

     

    You can get a full list of all the winners over at the Drone Hero web site. Do check out what AlphaLink, GEORESEARCH and GMP Defense are up to. Some really impressive stuff.

    Now personally, I’d give a shout out to two others. One is RoNik Inspectioneering B.V who I mentioned in Part I of this article. Their solution is really cool, especially for the Energy Industry.

    And the other company is Drone SAR. Okay, I’m Irish, so maybe I have a sweet spot for Irish companies. But what intrigued me about Drone SAR was how they were taking technology and looking to save lives. Their video is great and really speaks to what #DronesforGood stands for.

    Well, that’s it for this year. I wonder what will be new this October at Commercial UAV Americas? Let’s see…

    Looking forward to seeing you next year at Commercial UAV Expo Europe 2019, set to take place once again at the RAI in Amsterdam from April 8-10!

    The post 5 Things I Discovered at Commercial UAV Expo Europe – Part II appeared first on Commercial UAV News.

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  • IBD Stock Of The Day: This Online Bank Is A Buy As Financial Giants Stumble

    BofI Holding (BOFI) the IBD Stock of the Day, is in buy range after a recent high-volume breakout. The online bank stock has performed well as U.S. financial giants such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) have struggled since the February market correction.

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    The financial holding company shaped the world of online-only banking, launching Bank of Internet amid the dot-com bust in July 2000.

    Its main holdings include BofI Federal Bank, which finances single and multifamily homes, targets small-to-medium businesses, and offers commercial and industrial lending.

    BofI continues to be primarily internet-based with one physical branch in San Diego. The company has two quarters of accelerating earnings growth, capped off with a double-digit surge in the latest quarter.

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    BofI Holding stock cleared a 43.60 flat-base buy point Wednesday. Volume tracked 66% above average, signaling strong institutional demand. Following a pullback in mild volume Thursday, BofI shares rose 1% to 44.44 on the stock market today.

    Above-average weekly volume, higher than the prior week, backs this IBD 50 stock breakout. The bank stock is on track for a 7% weekly gain.

    BofI Holding Fundamentals

    BofI Holding boasts a top-notch IBD Composite Rating of 96. Its EPS Rating is a strong-but-not-stellar 91.

    A price-to-earnings ratio of 19.3 should please investors who like cheap stocks. That P/E compares with 20.5 for the S&P 500 and 19.7 for its industry, according to Morningstar.

    Notably, BofI posted only one down week during the February market correction. It continues to stay strong. That’s in contrast to the nation’s biggest banks including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS). Those stocks have continued to struggle since then.

    BofI Outlook

    BofI stock has almost doubled in value over the last year, a potential headwind for future gains.

    Per Zacks, the consensus analyst view calls for EPS of $2.51 in fiscal year 2018, ramping up 27% to $3.18 in 2019.

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    The post IBD Stock Of The Day: This Online Bank Is A Buy As Financial Giants Stumble appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.

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