Parrot makes first play for commercial drone market

It's refined and repacked existing models as entry-level business UAVs.


The French dronemaker Parrot is following up on its plans to shift away from consumer drones with a new Pro line rebranding a couple of its existing UAVs for commercial use. The company has refreshed its fixed-wing Disco model for aerial surveillance of farms and agricultural setups, while it's repurposed its quadcopter Bebop drone to capture building footage for later 3D modeling.

The Parrot Professional line, as the company calls it, is the culmination of its moves toward courting the commercial sector. The drone maker had long been known for its popular consumer-facing AR.Drone that debuted in 2010, but in lieu of losing its market dominance to DJI, had started introducing prosumer features like FPV video goggles and "follow me" modes. Then it laid off a third of its drone production workforce in January.

The Pro line of drones offer entry-level "end to end" solutions for consumer needs -- prefab setups of its drones specced to address a work case. The Disco-Pro AG has multispectral sensors and mapping software to survey land. The Bebop gets two preset Pro models: the Thermal examines heat and radiometry for roofers, plumbers and firefighters, while the 3D Modeling focuses on capturing external geometry.