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Overcoming the challenges of bridge inspections with the Anafi Ai – sUAS News


Thanks to drones, creating digital twins of infrastructure, structures and buildings has never been easier. Inspecting a bridge like the one over the Artuby River in the Gorges du Verdon (France) can be a real test of any pilot’s nerves.

The vortices created by the wind as it rushes under the structure make the evolution complex. A collision with one of these piers could send the drone 130 meters (430 ft) below.

In such conditions, it is good to be able to rely on ANAFI Ai’s unique obstacle avoidance system.

Omnidirectional detection

The stereo cameras of ANAFI Ai, located on both sides of the main camera, ensure the perception of obstacles located at 30 m (100 ft) from the UAV.

ANAFI Ai's dual gimbal for perception and imaging

Regardless of the pitch angle of the main camera, the perception system is constantly oriented in the flight direction.

ANAFI Ai builds and updates every 30 ms an occupation grid, representing its close environment. It is on this 3D matrix (represented by the colored voxels, in the video below) that the anti-collision algorithms are based.

Obstacle avoidance

30 times per second, ANAFI Ai elaborates multiple avoidance trajectories, to retain only one. The one that allows to avoid a possible collision with an obstacle, while deviating as little as possible from its nominal trajectory.

This function can be activated both in autonomous flight (flight plans, photogrammetry missions) and in manual flight. Obstacle avoidance has been designed to withstand a horizontal speed of up to 8 m/s (28 km/h)

Continuation of the mission

Once the obstacle is overcome, ANAFI Ai returns to its original trajectory and pursues its main objective: the accomplishment of its mission.

Key Features

  • Detection of obstacles located 30 m (100 ft) away
  • Sensing system always oriented in the flight direction
  • Multidirectional 3D environment perception
  • Designed to handle horizontal speed up to 8 m/s (28 km/h)

Learn more about ANAFI Ai



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