ANAFI Ai Technical documentation

A naturalist remark

In the animal kingdom, there is no known species that has optical sensors distributed around its body.


No insect, bird, fish, or mammal has developed a “visual perception system” of sensors, despite each species needing to detect obstacles or predators in all directions in order to survive.

Natural evolution has led to the most widespread and efficient solution. For example:

  • mobile heads that can be oriented on 3 axes: left/right (yaw), up/down (pitch), and also to a lesser extent with respect to the horizon (roll);
  • this integrates a unique pair of sensors adapted to the animal's behavior, and installed on a vertical plane of the face for tree-dwelling primates from which we descend, or directed more laterally for equids for example;
  • the pair of sensors are generally mobile on 2 axes: left/right (yaw axis) and up/down (pitch axis).


This visual perception is created of a pair of sensors (the eyes) mobile on 5 free axes (the movements of the head and eyes in their orbits).

In biology, we also see this in the evolution of the optic nerve. For most species, the optic nerve is the largest of its kind; it transmits large amounts of information across the body to its cerebral support. It is also a very short nerve made up of a bundle of cerebral fibers. When we apply this to a drone, the link (the bus) between the sensor and the processor requires an essential exchange of information, which implies optimizing the length of the bus.


Anatomically, the head of some species is often detached from the rest of the body. Some flying species (insects, birds, mammals) have their head located at the front of its frame, extending the view of the rest of the body - especially its wings. The placement of its head also allows its eyes to be positioned in such a way as to have an excellent field of view in all directions, and turning the head allows most flying species to see precisely behind them.

Thus, from this system of visual perception and from this cerebral support emerges the cognitive functions, in this case the perceptive and conceptual functions.


It is from this system of visual perception and cerebral support emerges the cognitive functions - in this case the perceptive and conceptual functions.


With this is in mind, Parrot has designed the ANAFI Ai obstacle avoidance system.


Henri Seydoux,

CEO and founder of Parrot