Parrot partners with senseFly and Pix4D on mapping UAVs

Parrot, the maker of the famous AR.Drone, has today announced two new ventures with companies chasing similar goals. The first is a $2.5 million investment with aerial mapping specialist Pix4D. That will see drones creating mapping solutions and geographical information using Pix4D's software. Pix4D will be providing the necessary imaging algorithms that helps the drones make 3D maps of the areas they fly over, while Parrot's investment will help boost development.

Pix4UAV takes thousands of normal pictures captured by drones and converts them into a professional 3D map. The advantage of Pix4D's solution is that the creation of the maps is fully automatic, and the company also claims that its processing is faster, cheaper, and has better accuracy. Ultimately UAV manufacturers and professional surveyors benefit from the maps, reportedly accurate up to 5cm, as Pix4UAV sells on the software and necessary tools.

Meanwhile, Parrot and senseFly have joined forces to build even more advanced drones. The key piece of technology that will benefit Parrot is the swinglet CAM, a drone with autopilot capabilities that can handle take-off, flight, and landing by itself. It's also packed with a high-resolution camera that might be useful for, say, geographical information and 3D maps. Parrot is bolstering senseFly's activities with around $5.1 million in funding. Match the technology at hand with Pix4UAV's software capabilities, and you can see that Parrot is taking automated surveillance drones seriously.