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Parrot Anafi Thermal ultracompact drone does live thermal and 4K video for $1,900

The easy-to-use folding drone will make on-the-spot aerial thermal imaging possible for just about anyone.

European drone maker Parrot is giving its little folding 4K camera drone a new job. 

The Anafi Thermal is a slightly smaller, lighter version of the Anafi it launched last June, but its single camera is replaced with a module with both a 4K camera and a Flir thermal camera that can see a temperature range of 14 to 752 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 to 400 degrees C), with three-axis stabilization. 

The Thermal follows the release of the Anafi Work, a professional package announced in September to create 3D models of all types of buildings with the included one-year subscription to Pix4D drone mapping and modeling software. Though developed as a drone platform, the original Anafi was for prosumer, enthusiast and professional camera drone pilots. While the consumer camera drone market continues to shrink, commercial growth is strong by comparison. 


Parrot's FreeFlight 6 app makes it easy to see just what you want from the two cameras. 

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Views from both the 4K and with a 160x120-pixel thermal cameras are streamed to Parrot's FreeFlight 6 app. You're able to quickly adjust the temperature ranges seen and assign colors to them. In the image above, for example, it was set to Spot mode, which displays just the hottest and coldest areas it sees. 

There's also a Relative mode to see a gradient-color scale with the range of coldest to hottest temperatures in a scene, and Absolute, which lets you manually choose a temperature range and color gradient. Ranges can be widened and narrowed on the fly, as can colors, so you can show just what you want. 

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The Anafi's design and camera mount makes it uniquely suited for building, bridge and other structure inspections. With its camera out in front and unobstructed, it can be aimed straight down and straight up, so it can be flown under a bridge, for instance. Add its high-resolution HDR photo and video capture, and the Anafi has the potential to see things other drones simply can't. 

The drone's other benefits -- from its compact design and 11-ounce (310-gram) weight, to its 3-second start up and 26-minute flight time -- should make it ideal for a variety of professionals, including search and rescue, public works and security. 

The Parrot Anafi Thermal will be available in May for $1,900 (approximately £1,450 or AU$2,650). It comes with the drone, controller, three batteries for up to 78 minutes of cumulative flight and a carrying case.