After more than a year of negotiations and development, Anzu Robotics finally launched its highly anticipated Raptor and Raptor T drones on April 17, 2024. This American company, based in Austin, Texas, partnered with Syracuse-based Aloft Technologies, resulting in the release of the UAVs with software fully developed within the U.S. This comes in on the backdrop of increased restrictions and intense debate on the use of foreign-based drone tech.

The Raptor series drones have made their entry into a heated market, promising plenty of tech for a wide range of industries, at affordable pricing. They’re serious about keeping your data secure, too.  With their release, Randall Warnas, CEO of Anzu Robotics, shared his excitement, stating that these high-quality, innovative drones are designed to meet the diverse needs of public safety agencies and various industries across the nation. Echoing this enthusiasm, Jon Hegranes, CEO of Aloft Technologies, highlighted the crucial role of their software. He mentioned that their goal is to ensure every drone operation meets the highest security standards, transforming how drones are used in everyday scenarios. 

But do they deliver? Let's unpack everything about the Raptor UAVs in this review and feature analysis.

First, the highlights. 

Key Features of the Raptor Series Drones

• High-Resolution Cameras: Both models boast impressive imaging capabilities. The Raptor features a 4/3-inch 20mp wide and a 1/2-inch 12mp CMOS camera, for high-resolution visuals. The Raptor T, designed for thermal imaging, includes a 640 x 512 LWIR sensor, making it ideal for night operations and heat signature detection.

• Extended Flight Time: Each drone offers up to 45 minutes of flight time per charge, significantly enhancing operational efficiency and allowing for prolonged missions without the need for frequent landings.

• Advanced Zoom Capabilities: Both drones come equipped with 56x hybrid zoom, providing exceptional detail from afar.

• Operational Range: Capable of reaching a 9-mile range, these drones extend their utility to vast areas, offering more flexibility and reach than many competitors in the market.

• Wind Resistance: Both models are engineered to withstand wind speeds up to 26 mph.

• Weight and Portability: Each drone weighs approximately 2 pounds (around 915g for the Raptor and 920g for the Raptor T).

• Gimbal Capabilities: The gimbals on these drones offer a wide range of motion, with the ability to tilt from -90° to +35°. 

• Compliance and Safety: Equipped with features that support FAA regulations and include pre-flight checklists and instant LAANC authorization to ensure safe and legal flight operations.

• No Geofencing Restrictions: Anzu Robotics has chosen not to include geofencing in these drones, which provides operators with the freedom to fly them in more locations without restrictions, though users must still comply with local regulations.

• Live Streaming and Fleet Management: Available through the optional enterprise features of the Air Control app.  

• Data Security: All data collected by the Raptor drones is stored securely on US-based servers, which are ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Type II certified. AES-256 encryption ensures all data transmitted is securely protected against unauthorized access.

Update July 2024 - Automated flights now available and a new media library to view captures from your RC. Make sure you update your app through the Air Control app on your RC to v.1.13.3 for this.

However, note that the Raptor-series drones are not IP-rated, which means they do not have a specific ingress protection rating for water or dust resistance. Operators should consider environmental conditions when planning their drone operations.

Let’s go over what these features mean for your operations in detail.

Raptor Drone Overview

The Raptor’s 20mp wide CMOS camera and 1/2-inch 12mp camera provide powerful imaging capabilities and user-focused design. With this dual-camera setup you can capture vast, detailed landscapes but can still get significant close-up inspections with clarity. Couple this with the 56x hybrid zoom, and commercial users can undertake detailed inspections from a safe distance, be it infrastructure monitoring or even precision agriculture.

Given that it has an impressive 45 minutes of flight time per charge, the Raptor drone is well-placed to take on 2024’s best long-range drones. This extended capacity ensures that users can conduct thorough surveys and complete complex missions without the frequent interruptions for battery changes that typify many other drones in the market. 

The flexibility from the gimbal allows operators to capture images from various angles, enhancing the drones' utility in complex environments. The live streaming and access advanced fleet management tools with Air Control app enhances the operational coordination and real-time data sharing across teams.

Raptor T Drone Overview

Expanding the capabilities of Anzu Robotics’ drone lineup, the Raptor T is tailored for specialized applications requiring thermal imaging.

It is equipped with a high-resolution 640 x 512 LWIR thermal imaging camera, enhancing its utility in varied operational contexts such as nighttime search and rescue operations and industrial inspections where heat detection is crucial.

Like its counterpart, the Raptor T also features a hybrid zoom capability up to 56x, providing exceptional detail and allowing for significant operational flexibility.

The thermal camera adds a layer of analytical depth by enabling the detection of heat signatures not visible to the naked eye, which can be crucial for preventative maintenance or during emergency situations. Add this to the flight time of 45 minutes and a control range extending up to 9 miles, it sets its mark as a powerful drone for aerial surveillance and inspection tasks.

See how far other drones can fly in this ranking of top long-range drones.

Hardware, Performance and the DJI Factor

Anzu Robotics has collaborated with DJI, a powerhouse in drone technology, to enhance their Raptor Series drones. By entering into a strategic licensing agreement, Anzu has access to DJI's tried-and-true drone platforms, which they enhance with custom features like high-resolution cameras and extended flight capabilities.  This partnership is uniquely structured, allowing Anzu complete control over their product without ongoing royalties or shared ownership, empowering them to independently innovate while leveraging DJI's technology.

This Raptor series in particular is a result of the reengineering of the Mavic 3 Enterprise and the Thermal version, the Mavic 3T, resulting in the Raptor and Raptor T respectively – in order to meet the requirements for operations in the U.S. This is especially beneficial for users and agencies that run into legal headwinds when using DJI drones due to them being foreign-made.

These drones are assembled in Malaysia, with components sourced globally, to ensure the quality of the products while bypassing geopolitical issues.  This is a clever move to ensure a reliable supply chain and adherence to global trade standards. This strategic decision not only underlines Anzu's dedication to quality and innovation but also makes the Raptor drones a stable choice amidst the unpredictable global climate. 

Once assembled, the drones make their way to the United States, where Anzu installs the latest firmware and conducts thorough quality checks. This dual-country production strategy not only maintains high standards but also enhances the security of the drones, resulting in reliable and high-performance UAVs across various industries. 

The Software Behind Anzu Robotics' Raptors – How Secure Is It?

On the software front, Anzu Robotics has partnered with Aloft Technologies to equip each Raptor drone with highly secure and reliable software. Aloft ensures compliance with stringent U.S. data protection regulations, grounding their development efforts in robust cybersecurity practices. This software not only boosts the operational efficiency of the drones but also guarantees the integrity and security of the data captured during flights. 

Features like encrypted data transmission and rigorous penetration testing safeguard against potential vulnerabilities. By prioritizing security, Anzu Robotics ensures their drones are not just aerial tools but also secure data collection platforms that respect privacy and operate within legal frameworks.

All data collected by the Raptor drones is safely stored on US-based servers, which are ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Type II certified. This commitment to data protection means users can trust their information is well-guarded against cyber threats. The software for the Raptor series is developed exclusively in the United States, adding an extra layer of security and addressing geopolitical concerns. The drones employ AES-256 encryption to protect data transmissions, ensuring mission data is safe from unauthorized access. Additionally, the Raptor series drones do not use geofencing, allowing unrestricted operational freedom while promoting FAA compliance through the Air Control app. With these comprehensive measures, Anzu Robotics empowers users to confidently leverage drone technology, knowing their data is secure.

Also Read: The Best 12 Drones for Police in 2024

Compliance and Safety During Flights

These drones come with the Aloft Air Control app, making sure they follow all the FAA regulations to keep flights safe and legal. The app helps you out with handy pre-flight checklists and quick LAANC authorizations, getting you ready to fly without a fuss.

Plus, these drones are built to be safe. They have top-notch systems to avoid obstacles, helping prevent any mishaps in the air. The absence of geofencing allows operators to use the drones in varied environments without the limitations imposed by predefined boundaries. Just remember, without those boundaries, it’s all on you to know and follow the local regulations.

Accessory Options and Upgrades

Anzu has availed different accessories to make the Raptor drones even more versatile and efficient for whatever task you have at hand. Key ones include:

• RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) Module: Significantly increases the positioning accuracy essential for precision tasks such as surveying and mapping.

• Loudspeaker: Great for communicating in search and rescue missions where direct contact with people is crucial, or in crowd control situations where you need to deliver clear messages without getting too close. 

• Charging Hub: Charges multiple batteries at once so you can keep your drone flying with minimal downtime. It's ideal for long days in the field, ensuring you're always ready to go and maximizing your productivity. 

Advanced Features Through Air Control App

Subscribing to enterprise features of the Air Control app unlocks a suite of advanced functionalities for the Raptor series drones. This includes enhanced fleet management capabilities, allowing operators to efficiently manage multiple drones and pilots through a centralized platform. Additionally, live streaming features enable real-time data sharing and decision-making, crucial during critical missions or complex operations. 

The app also supports integration with third-party software, facilitating a wide range of additional functionalities tailored to specific industry needs such as photogrammetry and advanced mapping. These features are designed to enhance the operational capabilities of the drones, providing users with powerful tools to maximize their investment and adapt to a broad spectrum of operational demands, thereby increasing the overall value and effectiveness of their aerial technology solutions.

Industry Applications Of The Anzu Raptor Drones

Who is the Raptor Is Best For?

The Anzu Raptor drone is designed as a versatile, high-resolution visual inspection tool, making it ideal for a wide array of commercial and industrial applications. Its significant 45-minute flight time and powerful imaging capabilities make it especially useful for detailed mapping and surveying tasks. This drone suits professionals in fields such as agriculture for crop monitoring, real estate for property showcasing, and construction for site inspections, where high-quality visual data is crucial. Additionally, its portability and robust build allow environmental researchers to carry it into remote areas to study ecosystems without causing disruption.

Who is the Raptor Is Best For?

On the other hand, the Anzu Raptor T, equipped with a 640 x 512 high-resolution LWIR thermal imaging payload, is tailor-made for more specialized operations, especially for emergency response teams and public safety agencies, providing critical support during search and rescue missions by pinpointing heat signatures in various environments. It’s also invaluable to the energy sector, where thermal imaging can detect overheating components or energy leaks in large infrastructures such as solar farms or electrical grids. The Raptor T’s capabilities make it indispensable for any scenario that requires thermal monitoring from a safe distance, enhancing both efficiency and safety.

Also Read: The Power Of Thermal Imaging With Your Drone

Where Can You Buy The Raptor Series Drones?

You've come to the right place! Here at DSLRPros, we're proud to be an authorized reseller of Anzu Robotics' high-perfomance Raptor and Raptor T drones. You won't find these drones just anywhere—they're sold exclusively through a select network of resellers, and we're one of the few in the United States and Canada!

Why buy from DSLRPros? We offer a range of pricing options that can be tailored to fit your specific needs. Whether you're a beginner or an expert pilot, our knowledgeable sales team is here to help you find the perfect drone solution. Reach them on (877) 299-1075 / (213) 262-9436 or email sales@DSLRPros.com

But that's not all—we also provide a wealth of training resources to ensure you get the most out of your drone. From detailed manuals and instructional videos on our website to hands-on training sessions, DSLRPros has everything you need to fly confidently. We cover every aspect of drone operation and maintenance to help both novice users and experienced pilots excel.

Each Raptor Series drone comes with a one-year warranty, backed by Anzu Care—a support program that covers accidental damage and ensures your drone is always ready for flight.

FAQs About Anzu Raptor and Raptor T Drones

• What unique features do the Raptor-series drones offer that set them apart from competitors?

First off, Anzu Robotics proudly manufactures the Raptor Series right here in the US, ensuring all software development and data hosting is handled domestically. This commitment to national production and data security gives Anzu Robotics a distinct edge, especially compared to competitors who might struggle with international data security regulations.

The Raptor-series drones are also known for their top-notch software integration with Aloft, which enhances flight performance and secures your data. They come with customizable settings, a sturdy build, and a sleek design that make them both user-friendly and highly functional. Plus, with high-quality hardware crafted in Malaysia and competitive pricing, you're getting premium technology without the hefty price tag.

As for features, both the Raptor and Raptor T models offer some pretty impressive specs. They boast high-resolution cameras, 56x hybrid zoom, and up to 45-minute flight times—perfect for those needing advanced, long-range drone capabilities. Specifically, the Raptor includes a 4/3-inch 20mp wide and a 1/2-inch 12mp CMOS camera for crisp visuals, while the Raptor T is equipped with a 640 x 512 LWIR sensor, ideal for nighttime and thermal imaging. These features not only meet but exceed the rigorous demands of US industries focused on operational security and compliance.

• Can the Raptor drones be used for live streaming?

Yes, the Raptor drones offer live streaming capabilities through the optional enterprise features of the Air Control app. This feature is particularly useful for real-time data sharing and operational coordination across teams.

• Can the Raptor series drones handle bad weather?

Absolutely! The Raptor-series drones can definitely handle a bit of rough weather. They’re built sturdy with advanced sensors that help them stay stable and functional, even when the weather doesn't want to cooperate. They can withstand winds up to 26 mph, so the challenging conditions won’t keep them grounded. Just remember, while they're pretty tough, it’s always best to steer clear of extreme weather like heavy rain or very strong winds for safety and to keep them performing their best.

• What is the maximum flight time for a fully charged Raptor drone?

A fully charged Raptor drone can achieve a maximum flight time of up to 45 minutes. This impressive duration allows users to conduct extended operations, whether for photography, surveying, or other tasks, without needing frequent recharges.

• Are there any specific training programs recommended by Anzu Robotics for new Raptor-series drone pilots?

Anzu Robotics recommends that new pilots engage in certified drone pilot training programs. These programs help users understand the full capabilities of the Raptor drones, ensuring safe and effective use. Look for courses that cover basic to advanced piloting skills and adhere to regulatory standards, such as the Advanced UAS Operator Course by DSLRPros.

• Are there any mobile apps recommended by Anzu Robotics for enhancing the functionality of the Raptor drones?

The Enterprise Air Control app is highly recommended by Anzu Robotics. It offers comprehensive flight planning, real-time monitoring, and data management features, enhancing the overall functionality and user experience of Raptor-series drones.

• How can I update the navigation maps on my Raptor-series drone?

Use the Enterprise Air Control app to download the latest maps directly to your drone. Ensure your drone’s firmware is up to date, and follow the app’s instructions to complete the update process seamlessly.

• What are the best practices for maintaining the battery health of my Raptor drone?

Avoid complete discharges and store the batteries in a cool, dry place. Charge them to about 50% if they are to be stored for long periods. Regularly inspect the batteries for any signs of wear or damage and use Anzu Robotics' recommended chargers and accessories.

• Can I customize the flight settings of my Raptor-series drone?

Yes, the Raptor-series drones offer a range of customizable flight settings. You can adjust parameters such as altitude limits, speed, and geofencing zones through the Enterprise Air Control app, allowing you to tailor the drone’s performance to your specific needs and preferences.

• Are there any accessories specifically designed for the Raptor-series drones that enhance their functionality?

Anzu Robotics offers several accessories to enhance the functionality of Raptor-series drones, including extended-range batteries, high-resolution cameras, and specialized mounts for various payloads. These accessories help users maximize the potential of their drones for both professional and recreational purposes.

• What should I do if my Raptor drone loses GPS signal mid-flight?

If your Raptor drone loses GPS signal, it will switch to ATTI (Attitude) mode, relying on its sensors to maintain stability. In this situation, remain calm and manually control the drone to a safe landing spot. Familiarize yourself with ATTI mode operations as outlined in the user manual to handle such scenarios effectively.

• How do I troubleshoot connection issues with the Raptor-series drones?

To troubleshoot connection issues with Raptor-series drones, ensure your firmware is updated, check for environmental interferences, and verify the connections between your drone and controller. If issues persist, refer to the troubleshooting section in the user manual or contact Anzu Robotics’ support team for assistance.

• Are Anzu Raptor drones made in the USA? 

No, Anzu Raptor drones are not fully manufactured in the USA. The assembly takes place in Malaysia to maintain high manufacturing standards and avoid geopolitical issues. However, critical software components are developed by Aloft Technologies, based in Syracuse, USA. After assembly, the drones are shipped to the United States, where Anzu carries out the firmware installation and runs quality checks. 

• How does the partnership with DJI affect the security of the Raptor drones? 

The strategic licensing agreement with DJI allows Anzu Robotics to use DJI's reliable drone platforms, enhancing their own Raptor drones with custom features like high-resolution cameras and extended flight capabilities. Despite the hardware collaboration with DJI, Anzu maintains full control over their software and data security, ensuring all operations comply with stringent U.S. data protection regulations. This setup helps keep the Raptor drones secure and minimizes the risk of unauthorized data access or interference.

• Which DJI drones are closest to the Raptors?

The Raptor series has been reengineered from the DJI Mavic 3E (for the Raptor) and Mavic 3T (for the Raptor T), with the tech fully owned and controlled by Anzu under its licensing agreement with DJI.

• What types of payloads can the Raptor-series drones carry?

Raptor-series drones are versatile and can carry various payloads, such as high-resolution cameras, LIDAR sensors, and delivery packages. The specific payload capacity depends on the drone model. Always check the payload limits in the user manual to ensure safe and efficient operation.

• Can the Raptor-series drones perform automated missions, and if so, how can I set these up?

Yes, Raptor-series drones can perform automated missions. You can set these up through the Enterprise Air Control app, where you can plan and execute flight paths, schedule regular missions, and set waypoints. This feature is perfect for tasks requiring precision and consistency.

• How does Anzu Robotics ensure the privacy and security of the data collected by the Raptor-series drones during flights?

Anzu Robotics prioritizes data privacy and security. All data is stored on secure, US-based servers provided by Aloft, which comply with ISO 27001 and SOC 2, Type II standards. They ensure that no data is shared with third parties without explicit consent from the drone owner, keeping your information safe and secure.

• How do the Raptor drones comply with FAA regulations?

The Raptor drones enable users to adhere to FAA regulations using the Aloft Air Control app. This application supports compliance by offering functionalities such as pre-flight checklists, which are essential for ensuring the drones are ready and safe for operation. It also provides instant authorization under the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), facilitating access to controlled airspace. Additionally, the app includes tools for managing both the drone fleet and pilots, ensuring that all operations are conducted safely and legally, thereby safeguarding both lives and property while enhancing the efficiency of aerial tasks.

While pre-flight checklists are not mandated by FAA regulations for drone operations under Part 107, they are strongly recommended as part of the general guidance for safe and responsible flying. The FAA advises pilots to perform a pre-flight inspection that includes checking the communications link between the control station and the drone, among other checks, to ensure the drone is safe to operate​​.

• How does Anzu Robotics handle the recycling or disposal of its drones?

Anzu Robotics is committed to environmental responsibility. They provide guidelines for the proper recycling and disposal of drones. Users can return old drones to certified service centers, where they will be dismantled, and components will be recycled according to environmental standards.