To help you expand your creative horizons, we’re giving you exclusive access to our in-apps, Flight Plan and Follow Me for only $0.99/£0.99! Get the features quickly in FreeFlight 6 as the offer is only available until 6th September.
For those of you, who want to find out more about Follow Me, make sure you read on! We spoke to Laure Chevalley, the Manager of the Computer Vision team, to see what inspires the creative geniuses behind Parrot’s innovative in-app features.
Tell us more about your background.
I went to an engineering school and I graduated in 2010. I specialized in signal processing and more specifically image processing. I’ve been working at Parrot for 8 years now and for the last 2 years, I’ve managed the Computer Vision team.
What attracted you to Parrot?
Parrot is a dynamic company that creates very interesting cutting-edge products. We’re a small team, which means we get to work on many different tasks. We’re not limited to a single assignment. I’ve had the opportunity to develop advanced algorithms, conduct intense tests and suggest ideas for future features. The great thing about Parrot is its startup style of management that can be felt throughout the company.
Another advantage is that there are many short-term projects, which means you get to see the development from, idea to fruition in a matter of months.
You manage the Computer Vision team, who worked on the creation of the in-app, Follow Me – GPS & Visual Tracking. Can you tell us more about this feature?
Several teams developed the in-app, Follow Me. My team specifically, was in charge of developing the visual tracking algorithms. Visual tracking is technology that allows your drone to follow a particular subject using videos captured in real time by the drone.
The Flight Control team worked on sensor data fusion, merging GPS, barometer and other sensor data. They developed algorithms that collect data from different sensors, automatically adapting the position of the drone so the subject is in the frame at all times.
Do you have any tips on how to use Follow Me for our dronists out there?
First and foremost you have to pilot your drone in an obstacle free area, so that the drone has a clear visual line of sight of the subject.
It is also important for the pilot to keep their smartphone with them when using the Follow Me mode, as the drone uses the phone’s GPS tracking data. The drone follows the subject maintaining the same orientation throughout the automatic flight, keeping you in the heart of the action. The drone does not turn, it performs translations and not rotations.
Despite the fact that the Follow Me mode is completely automatic, the pilot can override the system to take control, changing the orientation of the camera and the distance or the altitude of the drone at any time.
For safety reasons, the drone should be a few feet higher and further away than the subject itself. The minimum recommended distance is 5 meters and the minimum altitude is 2 meters above ground.
What makes Follow Me unique in comparison to other in-apps available on the market?
We use the smartphone barometer to measure changes in altitude. If the user moves on a slope, the drone also moves at the same pace as the subject. For example, during a bike descent, the drone descends at the same speed and altitude, following you at all times.
Could you give us an example of how to use ANAFI optimally with the Follow me mode.
In the mountains, ANAFI follows you, whether you are hiking or cycling, while filming the stunning backdrops. With Follow Me, ANAFI can follow you at its maximum speed of 55 km/h, filming moments full of action.
What is your favorite feature?
Without a doubt, Dolly Zoom! FreeFlight 6 has a great automatic video mode called SmartDronies. Within this, you have Dolly Zoom, which is basically the vertigo effect Hitchcock often used in his films. It’s one of the best features of ANAFI, as it produces super creative videos.