Intel on Tuesday launched a new ready-to-fly drone, the Aero, at the Intel Developer Forum. The new hardware product is specifically aimed at helping software developers rather than commercial drone operators or casual hobbyists to use Intel’s Aero Platform for unmanned aerial vehicles to make their own drones.
The Aero is completely assembled unit that is compatible with Linux operating system and runs on Intel’s Aero Compute Board. Besides, Intel’s drone comes pre-loaded with Santa Monica Startup AirMap’s software development kit and RealSense for vision. AirMap basically helps drone users to fly the product only where it is safe and legal.
Like Intel, many other chip makers, including Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Ambarella have been struggling to get market share in rapidly increasing domestic and international drone market.
These companies have done the same by trading their microprocessors to other hardware producers, including units that create UAVs, cameras or other systems that are incorporated into them in an attempt to enhance aerial data capture, functionality and generally around filming.
Qualcomm’s 4k cameras and Snapdragon Flight platform have been employed in drones such as the Tencent-Zerotech model namely YING that transmits data from mid-flight to Tencent’s QQ and Wenxing social media platforms. Whereas Ambarella’s chips have been used on DJI’s drones and 3D Robotic drones.
In drone’s tech start-ups, Intel plays a vital role as an equity investor. At the start of this year, the company has also acquired a German autopilot tech company called Ascending Technologies.
The introduction of the AirMap’s software development kit in the company’s new drone, the Aero, seems a boon for the startup. AirMap is already in ties with various leading drone makers like 3D Robotics, DJI, and Aeryon Labs.
Ben Marcus, CEO of the startup, said that the AirMap is dedicated to making drones a very important part of everyday life. According to Ben, persistent use of drones cannot happen securely without an air space management system that is covering the lower air space where these new products fly. Besides, it helps to convey the real-time information to drone manufacturers, operators and app developers regarding air space conditions.
The Aero will be available to buy by the end of this year, though Intel has not confirmed about the sale date or price yet.