US military turns to Parrot to help develop new reconnaissance drones
Parrot had quite a presence in the world of consumer drones a few years back, starting out as a purveyor of playful toy drones and working its way into the prosumer realm. Though it hasn't reached the heights of some drone companies in terms of popularity, its expertise has seen it earn a contract with the US Department of Defense to adapt its technology for military surveillance.
The French company is actually one of six awardees for the US Army's Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) project, which aims to develop new prototype drones that its soldiers can easily deploy for an aerial perspective of the battlefield. The other companies are Skydio, Altavian, Teal Drones, Vantage Robotics and Lumenier.
These firms will share US$11 million and move ahead with the development of small surveillance drones designed to help out soldiers on the ground. These drones are required be capable of flying for 30 minutes at a time, up to three km (1.86 mi) away, weigh three lb (1.36 kg) or less, take two minutes to assemble and be able to fit into a soldier's rucksack.
"We look forward to focusing our advanced R&D on meeting the high standards set by the US Army, to integrate drone efficiency in their day to day operations and support the world leading army defense system," said Henri Seydoux, founder and CEO of Parrot.