3DR announces partnership with Intel on Edison for Linux-based companion for Pixhawk

From the 3DR blog:

On Tuesday, 3D Robotics announced that we’ve partnered with Intel in the development of Edison, a new microcomputer that basically gives you PC power in postage stamp size. We’ve worked closely and for a long time with Intel on this project because the combination of Edison’s incredible power and  affordability will lead to truly revolutionary advancements for our company, and for the Internet of Things in general.

  • The Intel Edison module uses a 22-nm Intel® Atom™ SoC, formerly Silvermont that includes a dual core, dual threaded CPU at 500 MHz and a 32-bit Intel® Quark™ processor MCU at 100 MHz. It supports 40 GPIOs and includes: 1 GB LPDDR3, 4 GB EMMC, and dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth® Low Energy on a module the size of a postage stamp.
  • The Intel Edison module will initially support development with Arduino* and C/C++, followed by Node.JS, Python, RTOS, and Visual Programming support in the near future.
  • The Intel Edison module includes a device-to-device and device-to-cloud connectivity framework to enable cross-device communication and a cloud-based, multi-tenant, time-series analytics service.

The Edison board has the kind of processing that at one time you could only find in a personal computer. This means that when we integrate Edison into our next-generation autopilot, we’ll be able to make incredible leaps forward in on-board image processing, sense and avoid, new classes of sensors, and artificial intelligence, with many more eggs yet to be discovered and cracked open. The technology is now here. The challenge now is to start doing important and interesting things with it.

For instance, for the big announcement on Tuesday we ran a demo of IRIS+ using an “optical” version of our 3PV™ Follow Me technology, with Edison as a companion computer to our Pixhawk autopilot. That sounds way too technical. But what that really means is that with the extra computing power from Edison, 3PV™ can now track people and objects with vision instead of relying on a GPS signal, so you won’t need to carry another device on you anymore—you can just go and the drone will visually recognize where you are and keep the camera on you. 

3DR CEO Chris Anderson called the partnership, “A rich collaboration between Intel’s engineers and ours to integrate the Edison into our platform and add image processing power.” For Chris, Edison unlocks what you might call “the long tail of drones.” In other words, drones won’t come in a handful of sizes and models with a handful of universal capabilities, as they do today. Instead, drones will be customized and adapted, changed and invented and reinvented to meet an untold number of needs and solve an untold number of problems, most of which we aren’t even aware of today. That’s the long tail. With additional computing power from Edison, 3DR will build drones that can do more things for more people in more industries, and eventually drones that can be infinitely tailored to meet the many unique needs of the real world that are out there now, waiting for their applications to come along.

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Comment by Steve St.Clair on September 11, 2014 at 12:42pm

Great stuff down the pipeline. There truly are no limits.

Keep up the excellence

Comment by Greg Dronsky on September 11, 2014 at 12:51pm

A natural move for 3DR. Great news! :)

So a 3dr nano quad now can be a fact ;). This would be nice to have a super small/light drone, capable of safe flight indoors, with the full power of Pixhawk.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 11, 2014 at 1:15pm

A new distributor as well

Comment by Marco Robustini on September 11, 2014 at 1:24pm

Go 3DR, go! :P
Congratulations dear Chris.

Comment by RCvertt on September 11, 2014 at 2:07pm

Either that is a very large stamp or a very impressive sized Edison. Cool to see.

I'm very interested in the visual programming support that is eventually planned. Don't know if it'll be like "Blueprint" that is the visual scripting language for the Unreal Engine 4 that I use but anything visual like that would be very cool to see.

Comment by Johann van de Venter on September 11, 2014 at 2:52pm

Nice! I'll be keeping an eye on this one.


Comment by Jack Crossfire on September 11, 2014 at 3:01pm

Didn't 3DR already partner with Tesla?

Comment by R. D. Starwalt on September 11, 2014 at 3:41pm

Jack, I get the joke.

It came at a great moment.


Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on September 11, 2014 at 4:01pm

Congratulation Chris on your collaboration with Intel which puts a lot of computing power in a very small space to say the least!



Comment by kyle rodrigues on September 11, 2014 at 4:47pm

I was lucky enough to see a demonstration live at IDF 14.  they had one in their exhibitor display that would aim the camera wherever a ping pong paddle was.  pretty cool stuff


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