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Anafi Ai Real-World Performance

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A few points noted about Anafi Ai performance:

1. Very good flight characteristics, steady, no problem in 20 KM/H wind for example.

2. Obstacle avoidance works very well, a bit of practice and attention to detail and it's impressive.

3. Video quality is outstanding (dawn to dusk), the 'glass', sensor, firmware, etc. produce highly detailed, color accurate and well balanced images. rock-steady gimbal and stabilization features. Outstanding for technical work. Cinematography is probably only limited by the photographic skills of the user, but great right out of the box.

4. WiFi performs well and reliably out to ~500 meters in a highly-saturated environment (verified by frequency scanning). I've only tested WiFi on 2.4 GHz band CE/EU.

5. 4G functionality is great, works seamlessly out of the box with SIM card from local 4G LTE provider, latency is acceptable to excellent, data use is very economical for my data plan. Only tested to a ~2KM radius with spotter(s) and comms due to VLOS compliance.

6. RTH is reliable, reconnection consistently occurs as soon as the Anafi Ai is back in range or switches to 4G. Haven't tested other features yet (missions, etc.).

7. Until now, Parrot responsiveness has been non-existent in my experience, but the Anafi Ai is overall a great UAV with huge further potential.

Any questions or comments are welcome.
 

jaja6009

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Thank you very much for your review!
There is not a lot of info on this forum on this new sUAS except for official reviews and Youtube videos.

I really do like the Anafi AI and find many of its features intriguing.
If my little drone shop was larger with a bigger aircraft budget I would definitely consider it.
The image quality gets very good reviews even with it being a smaller sensor than say the Mavic 2 Pro or Mavic 3.
I am sure that just like the Anafi, the Anafi USA will integrate seamlessly into Pix4D with the camera parameters profile very well defined and it will make some really detailed ortho-maps and 3D models.
 
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jspg

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I have 3 Parrot anafi and still enjoy the footage and photos for my aerial photography, not like Dji mini2 ( which is sharp and saturated in color), the anafi's footages and photos are just natural both in color and sharpness (although not good performance in low light), what I want to say is the image from anafi shows the soul of the image.
Anafi Ai and Anafi USA are beyond the needs of the hobbyists and the consumer market, it is for the commercial experts.
 
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...
Anafi Ai ... {is] beyond the needs of the hobbyists and the consumer market, it is for the commercial experts.
That depends on the needs and the purchasing power of the hobbyist/consumer or non-commercial person(s).

If one has the funds to purchase a professional drone and use-case(s) for it, the Anafi Ai is very interesting if its abilities fit the task(s) one wants to achieve.

What is a problem is Parrot's current notorious lack of response of any kind to any inquiry from purchasers of the Anafi Ai.
 

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You should trick them by sending them short email that starts with :”You guys are Best!!!”,”Awesome support!!”,regards!,,,
some fool will probably answer with:”thank you,it is our job to…blah,blah…….”
once you have direct email to support agent you can start with abuse(tough questions)…..😀
 
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You should trick them by sending them short email that starts with :”You guys are Best!!!”,”Awesome support!!”,regards!,,,
some fool will probably answer with:”thank you,it is our job to…blah,blah…….”
once you have direct email to support agent you can start with abuse(tough questions)…..😀
Well, I actually wrote in about 3 different emails to seperate Parrot departments (and 2 other attempts that were through different online forms for customer support and a posting on the Parrot developer forum) saying how good I think that the Anafi Ai is, and if they could answer a few technical questions (like how much 4G data I calculated that the Anafi Ai uses per minute, and if they could please confirm it or correct me).

Maybe Parrot is taking that personalized data confidentially so far that they don't even want to know if someone owns an Anafi Ai...
 
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After testing the HDMI output from the SkyController, note:

- Works very well.
- No impact at all on the video stream or other controller/Anafi Ai performance.
- The HDMI output shows only the video stream, NO telemetry, but does show message when no video stream is being output (eg, Anafi Ai isn't turned on yet).
- The control device (eg, iPad/iPhone) in the Skycontroller functions the same with or without HDMI output.

Since the output is 1080p 30FPS, with dependency on the quality of the connection to the Anafi Ai, with no telemetry displayed, recording the HDMI output would be quite useless - it would be better to screen-record the app running on the device used for the SkyController and use the video recorded on the SD card in the Anafi Ai.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an option that I could find to output the video with live telemetry via HDMI, which would be beneficial as a large, live display as well as a stream to capture for later review without having to use screen recording on the device.
 

Vaakefjell

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So, I just joined the club. I’ve only had it for a few days and not had the opportunity to really test it yet, but hopefully I will get around to it soon.

My first SIM card was defect from my provider, so I had to swap it. Not Parrot’s fault, but I can confirm that Wi-Fi connection in CE mode is very weak when the drone is straight above, but seems to perform similar or better than the ANAFI 4K when a bit further away. First impression with 4G is solid! No issues switching between modes, no issues with latency. A new world.

I‘ve only just tested a little filming and a couple of 360x180 panoramas. Low light performance seem to be lacking though, but I suspect software issues, and hope it will be resolved with future updates: 360 panos at 200iso 1/15s at sunset today were very streaky / blurry, as if the image sequence doesn’t stop long enough for capturing the photos. In Superwide mode the results with the same settings are much better. I was not able to set photos to longer exposure times, as everything longer than 1/15s was greyed out in the slider (I’ve had great results from my ANAFI 4K at up to 400iso 1/4s exposure).

That being said, I was impressed with the ANAFI 4K giving me 180MP panoramas in Hugin, but I did not expect a whopping 800MP resolution from the Ai! That is absolutely mind blowing details!

Low light video is much better than the ANAFI 4K.

When I received it, I immediately checked and found that one of the batteries had damages from the rear propeller hitting it. I’ve seen a few other users complain about this, and knew what to look for. I don’t really think is is a serious issue, as there is no sign of damage to the propeller and no stories of the drone falling out of the sky due to this - I sincerely hope it is just a cosmetic issue. However, one can never be too safe, so I spent a few minutes in my favourite CAD program and designed a Rear Arm Bump Stop to be 3D printed in PLA/PETG or TPU.

I’ve just used the PLA version myself, but another user tried the TPU version with good success (it is a bit thicker as it needs more pressure to keep the arms out). The PLA version fits snugly and secure, but is easy to remove after flight. See files below (just mirror the part in your slicer for the other arm).


IMG_0760.jpeg
IMG_1234.png
IMG_0876.jpeg

P.S.
I also got a camera backpack for more easy carry. Highly recommended. I unscrew the sticks before stowing away the controller (the controller has built in holders for safekeeping).
 

Vaakefjell

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After testing the HDMI output from the SkyController, note:

- Works very well.
- No impact at all on the video stream or other controller/Anafi Ai performance.
- The HDMI output shows only the video stream, NO telemetry, but does show message when no video stream is being output (eg, Anafi Ai isn't turned on yet).
- The control device (eg, iPad/iPhone) in the Skycontroller functions the same with or without HDMI output.

Since the output is 1080p 30FPS, with dependency on the quality of the connection to the Anafi Ai, with no telemetry displayed, recording the HDMI output would be quite useless - it would be better to screen-record the app running on the device used for the SkyController and use the video recorded on the SD card in the Anafi Ai.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an option that I could find to output the video with live telemetry via HDMI, which would be beneficial as a large, live display as well as a stream to capture for later review without having to use screen recording on the device.
Just a question, have you looked at the documentation for pDRAW in the Parrot SDK? If you capture the rtsp stream, you have some tools available to extract and display telemetry etc out of the box. Not sure how / if it works with the HDMI port though.
 
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Just a question, have you looked at the documentation for pDRAW in the Parrot SDK? If you capture the rtsp stream, you have some tools available to extract and display telemetry etc out of the box. Not sure how / if it works with the HDMI port though.
Yes, I looked at that and more, and that's "do-able" and many other things.

If one wants to develop some unique display values for data which is specifically important to one's use-case or some increased functionality, it's great that it's possible with SDK.

My point is, that in a seriously pro drone of this price and caliber (it really is a "next generation" pro drone, hardware and functional capability-wise), it's absurd that BASIC, informational feature options (that can be selected or de-selected) for HUD or HDMI display are not available.

How hard is it for Parrot to allow one to opt to display the exact same HUD as the FreeFlight 7 app HUD via HDMI instead of just the "naked" video only? Why does the paying customer have to be a drone programmer?

For another glaring example, what costly pro drone or even cheap but good drone doesn't have even a single selectable HUD reticle??? The Anafi Ai is supposed to be a precision mapping system with cinematographic capabilities, which it does, yet has no selectable HUD reticle option???
 

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...

When I received it, I immediately checked and found that one of the batteries had damages from the rear propeller hitting it. I’ve seen a few other users complain about this, and knew what to look for.

That issue is strange, my Anafi Ai doesn't do that, is it a weak spring? I've flown it in strong winds long distance, too...

P.S.
I also got a camera backpack for more easy carry. Highly recommended. I unscrew the sticks before stowing away the controller (the controller has built in holders for safekeeping).

Couldn't agree more, I had a camera backpack ("Endurax") from many years ago that seemed perfect for the Anafi AI and it is, just out of curiosity I looked it up again and it's now listed as a drone backpack...
 

Vaakefjell

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Yes, I looked at that and more, and that's "do-able" and many other things.

If one wants to develop some unique display values for data which is specifically important to one's use-case or some increased functionality, it's great that it's possible with SDK.

My point is, that in a seriously pro drone of this price and caliber (it really is a "next generation" pro drone, hardware and functional capability-wise), it's absurd that BASIC, informational feature options (that can be selected or de-selected) for HUD or HDMI display are not available.

How hard is it for Parrot to allow one to opt to display the exact same HUD as the FreeFlight 7 app HUD via HDMI instead of just the "naked" video only? Why does the paying customer have to be a drone programmer?

For another glaring example, what costly pro drone or even cheap but good drone doesn't have even a single selectable HUD reticle??? The Anafi Ai is supposed to be a precision mapping system with cinematographic capabilities, which it does, yet has no selectable HUD reticle option???
If I read the documentation correct (and based on my experience with the Anafi 4K), you have the standard pDRAW HUD available, but instead of using the HDMI output, you need to capture the RTSP stream from the USB-C port using a network adapter on the controller, or on the WiFi link when connecting to the drone directly (not sure how it would work over 4G).

But I agree with you, options to add HUD elements on the HDMI output would be very good, even if it was just a mirror of the app. If we give them feedback it might come as a software update in the future. At least they did a great job adding features and updating Freeflight 6 based on customer feedback... Let's hope they will do the same going forward, despite the current feeling of abandonment after they left the consumer market.
 
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COH-Engineering

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Good morning. We have had our AI just long enough to begin to trust the obstacle avoidance ability. Unfortunately that has now led to a crash that caused some damage to the battery and the gimble. So it is designed to go into smart RTH when the battery gets low. This is an option that can be turned off. However, when you are in free flight mode if the drone decides to take over and RTH due to low battery be aware that it DOES NOT use the obstacle avoidance routine to do so. In our case the drone shot straight up into the tree canopy and came crashing back down. I emailed Parrot with the info and they responded with the following:
"Dear Christopher Conard,
Thank you for your email and for contacting Parrot.
Thank you for providing a description of the incident that took place.

Regrettably, from the description provided, I can confirm that this is normal behavior of the Parrot Anafi Ai drone.
As a safety feature, once the battery reaches a certain percentage, the RTH (Return To Home) feature is activated. It is always recommend to ensue that the drone is operated in a safe environment. (My translation, you can't fly the drone anywhere that there is an obstacle directly overhead :)
As the drone has sustained damage based on normal behavior, regrettably this would not be classed as a warranty incident."
Than they closed the case.

I replied that the fact that this is "normal behavior" is the problem in itself. No email returned yet.
 
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Skydreamer

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i was gonna write lengthy post but then i just gave up…..parrots biggest enemy was always just parrot,i am more shocked that they answered your email than thathey closed your case…..👎
 
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... So it is designed to go into smart RTH when the battery gets low. This is an option that can be turned off. However, when you are in free flight mode if the drone decides to take over and RTH due to low battery be aware that it DOES NOT use the obstacle avoidance routine to do so. ...

I replied that the fact that this is "normal behavior" is the problem in itself. No email returned yet.

Disabling Obstacle Avoidance on forced (low battery) RTH must be one of the '595 bug fixes' that Parrot was working 'day and night' on. /sarc
 

Vaakefjell

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Good morning. We have had our AI just long enough to begin to trust the obstacle avoidance ability. Unfortunately that has now led to a crash that caused some damage to the battery and the gimble. So it is designed to go into smart RTH when the battery gets low. This is an option that can be turned off. However, when you are in free flight mode if the drone decides to take over and RTH due to low battery be aware that it DOES NOT use the obstacle avoidance routine to do so. In our case the drone shot straight up into the tree canopy and came crashing back down. I emailed Parrot with the info and they responded with the following:
"Dear Christopher Conard,
Thank you for your email and for contacting Parrot.
Thank you for providing a description of the incident that took place.

Regrettably, from the description provided, I can confirm that this is normal behavior of the Parrot Anafi Ai drone.
As a safety feature, once the battery reaches a certain percentage, the RTH (Return To Home) feature is activated. It is always recommend to ensue that the drone is operated in a safe environment. (My translation, you can't fly the drone anywhere that there is an obstacle directly overhead :)
As the drone has sustained damage based on normal behavior, regrettably this would not be classed as a warranty incident."
Than they closed the case.

I replied that the fact that this is "normal behavior" is the problem in itself. No email returned yet.
That sounds very strange!

According to the technical documentation, obstacle avoidance should be available in Smart RTH mode. Check out page 29 in the full technical specifiction document (current v7.4.0.0) on their web page: ANAFI Ai Technical specifications | Parrot

It would be natural to expect that it was normal behavior for OA to be active, as long as OA is activated...

Screenshot 2022-11-04 at 00.22.03.png
 
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There's only one way to get to the bottom of this - someone has to make a video including screen recording of the controller device (iPhone or iPad) of an Anafi AI with latest updates hovering at some reasonable distance, with Obstacle Avoidance activated, until it runs low enough on battery charge to trigger RTH.

This will prove what actually happens vs. what is supposed to happen according to the spec.

EDITED TO ADD:
In the original circumstances of the mishap described by COH-Engineering, the actual behavior of this improvement mentioned by Parrot might be relevant - "[HUD] New progress bar to disable Obstacle Avoidance when the drone is stuck".
1667620380067.png
 
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Daedalus UAS

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So, I just joined the club. I’ve only had it for a few days and not had the opportunity to really test it yet, but hopefully I will get around to it soon.

My first SIM card was defect from my provider, so I had to swap it. Not Parrot’s fault, but I can confirm that Wi-Fi connection in CE mode is very weak when the drone is straight above, but seems to perform similar or better than the ANAFI 4K when a bit further away. First impression with 4G is solid! No issues switching between modes, no issues with latency. A new world.

I‘ve only just tested a little filming and a couple of 360x180 panoramas. Low light performance seem to be lacking though, but I suspect software issues, and hope it will be resolved with future updates: 360 panos at 200iso 1/15s at sunset today were very streaky / blurry, as if the image sequence doesn’t stop long enough for capturing the photos. In Superwide mode the results with the same settings are much better. I was not able to set photos to longer exposure times, as everything longer than 1/15s was greyed out in the slider (I’ve had great results from my ANAFI 4K at up to 400iso 1/4s exposure).

That being said, I was impressed with the ANAFI 4K giving me 180MP panoramas in Hugin, but I did not expect a whopping 800MP resolution from the Ai! That is absolutely mind blowing details!

Low light video is much better than the ANAFI 4K.

When I received it, I immediately checked and found that one of the batteries had damages from the rear propeller hitting it. I’ve seen a few other users complain about this, and knew what to look for. I don’t really think is is a serious issue, as there is no sign of damage to the propeller and no stories of the drone falling out of the sky due to this - I sincerely hope it is just a cosmetic issue. However, one can never be too safe, so I spent a few minutes in my favourite CAD program and designed a Rear Arm Bump Stop to be 3D printed in PLA/PETG or TPU.

I’ve just used the PLA version myself, but another user tried the TPU version with good success (it is a bit thicker as it needs more pressure to keep the arms out). The PLA version fits snugly and secure, but is easy to remove after flight. See files below (just mirror the part in your slicer for the other arm).


View attachment 6118
View attachment 6119
View attachment 6120

P.S.
I also got a camera backpack for more easy carry. Highly recommended. I unscrew the sticks before stowing away the controller (the controller has built in holders for safekeeping).
Any chance I could talk you into making me some rear arm bump stops? Pretty please!
 
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