It’s been an up and down 2017 so far for Parrot. After announcing a handful of different drones last year, it was forced to layoff nearly a third of its workforce as it continually struggles to compete with industry leader DJI. Today, Parrot is refocusing itself with a new line of professional-grade quadcopters that it hopes will help bolster revenues in Q3 and 4.
These new entry-level business UAVs are not designed for cinema-grade photography, but rather have professional features aimed at farmers, firefighters, roofers and more. Today’s announcement fits between Parrot’s affordable $100 consumer drones and its top-end commercial line that hit upwards of $11,000. The question remains, will these mid-range quads push consumers away from DJI? Full details below.
Parrot Professional starts at $1,000 and tops out at $5,000 with varying features and accessories. That pricing puts it on-par with DJI’s consumer offerings that retail for roughly the same price. Today’s announcement includes three new drones which are all essentially specced up versions of its entry-level line.
The headliner is Parrot’s Disco-Pro AG, a $4,500 drone that has been remade to include high-performance sensors and new software. A focus on professional-grade footage and tools without the burden of hiring a pilot drives the feature set on this quadcopter. Much like DJI, Parrot has realized that many consumers are afraid of crashing their drones. Including sensors that navigate away from danger is a major benefit for users that lack entry-level drone piloting experience.
Along with that same bundle includes a new autonomous flight planning software. Much like the sensors, this will give amateur pilots peace of mind and the ability to draw out flights ahead of time. Look for realtors and farmers to take advantage of this type of feature when covering large sections of land.
Today’s announcement also brings along the unveiling of two new Bebop-Pro models. A 3D-enabled version is designed to create models of structures that can be translated into architectural planning. It’s slated to retail for $1,100 when it hits the market in June. A yet-to-be-priced thermal model offers aerial imaging that depicts different temperatures, perhaps for firefighters and emergency personnel.
Few know that Parrot has a commercial subsidiary called Sensefly, which offers ultra high-end drones that hit upwards of $25,000. The French brand is hoping to lean on the experience gained there in its newest releases that are geared towards pilots looking for a much less expensive way into aerial imagery.
Parrot is slated to begin offering its new prosumer drones in June with availability on its online storefront.