Intel Unveils A Ready-To-Fly Drone The “Aero”

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At the Intel Developer Forum on Tuesday, Intel unveiled a new, hardware product — a ready-to-fly drone; specifically, a quadcopter, aimed at software developers rather than casual hobbyists or commercial drone operators.

Intel’s drone is a fully assembled unit that runs on Intel’s Aero Compute Board with a Linux operating system, RealSense for vision and comes with Santa Monica startup AirMap’s software development kit pre-loaded. AirMap, generally, helps drone users fly only where it’s safe and legal to do so.

Intel is focused on creating innovative new technologies and leading with key vision capabilities in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) segment, commonly referred to as drones. At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) today, Intel is hosting a panel with drone industry leaders including Ronie Gnecco, innovation manager for UAV Development & Applications, Airbus; Earl Lawrence, director, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, Federal Aviation Administration; Shan Phillips, CEO, Yuneec USA; and Art Pregler, UAS program director, AT&T. They were joined by Intel drone experts Anil Nanduri and Natalie Cheung to discuss how new drone technologies and capabilities present new opportunities for drone developers. Chief among these opportunities relate to some additional drone-related announcements Intel made today at the show.

Intel® Aero Platform for UAVs: Pre-orders are open for the Intel Aero Platform for unmanned aerial vehicles. Designed from the ground up to support drones, the UAV developer kit is powered by an Intel® Atom™ quad-core processor. It combines compute, storage, communications and flexible I/O all in a form factor the size of a standard playing card. When matched with the optional Vision Accessory Kit, developers will have opportunities to launch sophisticated drone applications. The Aero Ready To Fly drone is a fully-assembled quadcopter with compute board, integrated depth and vision capabilities using Intel® RealSense™ Technology — the fastest path available from Intel for developers to get applications airborne. Aero Ready To Fly Drone supports several “plug and play” options, including a flight controller with Dronecode PX4 software, Intel RealSense for vision and AirMap SDK for airspace services. The Aero compute board is available for $399 at click.intel.com. The Aero Ready To Fly Drone will be available by end of year.

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