Intel announces new Aero drone development board based on Dronecode PX4 software

Today at the Intel Developer Forum, CEO Brian Krzanichannounced both the company's Aero drone development board and a full ready-to-fly drone based on Aer on the company's RealSense sense-and-avoid solution, which is already used on the Yuneec Typhoon H drone. Both of them are using the Dronecode PX4 flight stack. 

Both will be available in Q4 2016. The Aero board is $399 and the price for the whole drone has not been set. More details are here

IDF San Francisco 2016 – Drones Intel Reveals UAV Developments and Availability of New Technologies at IDF Aug. 17, 2016 – Intel Corporation today announced its involvement in the development of multiple best-in-class unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, showcasing how they interact with their environment, solve problems and thrill users by helping them explore and interact with their worlds unlike ever before.

Intel® Aero Platform for UAVs Intel’s® Aero Platform is available today for developers to build their own drones. This purpose-built, UAV developer kit powered by an Intel® Atom™ quad-core processor 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 tremendous opportunities to launch sophisticated drone applications into the sky. Aero supports several “plug and play” options, including a flight controller with Dronecode PX4 software, Intel® RealSense™ technology for vision, AirMap SDK for airspace services, and will support LTE for communications. The Intel Aero Platform is available for preorder now on – the Intel Aero compute board is $399, the Intel Aero Vision Accessory Kit is $149, and the Intel Aero Enclosure Kit is $69.

A separate Intel Aero Platform Ready-to-Fly Drone will be available in Q4. Yuneec Typhoon H* with Intel RealSense Technology Now publically available, the Yuneec Typhoon H is the most advanced, compact aerial photography and videography platform available, featuring Intel RealSense technology. With an intelligent obstacle navigation system, the drone can see objects and self-navigate around them. The drone has an Intel RealSense camera and an Intel Atom processor while the ground station is also equipped with an Intel Atom processor. The Typhoon H with Intel RealSense technology is available for purchase for $1,899. AscTec Falcon 8* The AscTec Falcon 8 drone went into serial production in 2009 and has since been used globally for professional applications, most recently as an aerial inspection and surveying tool for Airbus*. The patented V-form octocopter is designed for precision and safety with the reliable AscTec HighPerformance GPS and the new control unit AscTec Trinity. It weighs only 2.3 kilograms on takeoff and works with maximum efficiency in the air, on- and offshore, even in challenging conditions.

Intel and Drone Policy Advocacy Intel CEO Brian Krzanich was recently appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to chair the Drone Advisory Council, a committee focused on addressing “integration strategies” regarding drones. In August, Brian addressed The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which includes experts in government, academia and industry, to discuss airspace integration, public and commercial uses, and ways to ensure safety, security and privacy in this emerging field. On Tuesday afternoon, Anil Nanduri (Vice President and General Manager, UAV Segment and Perceptual Computing Group at Intel), Earl Lawrence (Director, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office at the Federal Aviation Administration), Art Pregler (UAS Director at AT&T*), Ronnie Gnecco (Innovation Manager for UAVs at Airbus), and Shan Phillips (USA CEO at Yuneec) discussed how new drone capabilities and regulatory changes present new opportunities for drone developers

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Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on August 16, 2016 at 9:00pm

Just curious, do you know, how much (maybe a percentage) of the code on this system is publicly accessible open source?  Referring to the whole thing, including the vision system, etc. Is the PX4 Flight Stack code that they are actually using public?  Or have they done improvements in their private branch?  The last I heard, the public PX4 stack was basically unflyable, so I wonder how much work they had to do to make it product-ready, and if that's available for everybody to benefit, or are they keeping it to them selves according to the BSD license?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on August 16, 2016 at 9:04pm

You don't have to speculate: just load PX4 on to your Pixhawk with a push of a button from QGroundControl and find out how flyable it is yourself. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. (I'm mostly flying PX4 myself now)

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on August 16, 2016 at 9:40pm

I'm not asking for speculation.  It's a simple question.  How much of the software load on this, is publicly available open source?  Not if it was forked from public code, but actually public, today?

Comment by earthpatrol on August 16, 2016 at 9:43pm

I guess Intel is grasping for the next "revolution." Here's a nice encapsulation of why Intel will have trouble in the UAV world as well.

How Intel Missed the Iphone Revolution

By the way, there are many ARM based platforms that have open-source software support that fly on a daily basis.

Comment by Ben on August 16, 2016 at 11:27pm

Maybe slightly out-of-subject, but I'm surprized by the look of the drone. It looks completely unfinished, its main point is clearly to be a proof of concept of the Aero platform.

If the Aero alone is $499, the Aero vision is $149, and the price of the complete drone is not communicated, we can expect something in the $900 range for a complete system. It will be difficult to convince anyone who's not a developer to buy into this, given the competition.

IMO it's fine to provide developers with a powerful CPU in the drone, that should be able to do something with vision, but until someone does something useful with it, at that price and given its appearance it won't go mainstream.

Comment by Jiro Hattori on August 16, 2016 at 11:56pm

Intel Aero Platform is a UAV specific development platform is here.

I do not understand why they will not ship those kit other than north America.

Comment by Randy on August 17, 2016 at 1:24am

A very promising flight controller.  I've been looking forward to it for some time.  I'd be a little surprised if it can't also run ArduPilot.  In any case, I'm sure it will eventually one way or the other.

Comment by Ravi on August 17, 2016 at 4:59am

whatever happened to pixhawk 2? would have been in the same category suppose.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on August 17, 2016 at 5:50am

Ravi, the Pixhawk2 will be available very soon:

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on August 17, 2016 at 6:27am

So the Snapdragon Flight is a similar system that was announced almost a year ago.

Whatever happened to that?  Anybody doing anything interesting with it?  Is it still available?  Does this trump that? On a side note, I never did figure out why, in their video where they talk about optical path planning, visual odometry, and show soft-joysticks on a tablet, why does the machine in the video have a Spektrum Satellite Rx on the bottom?  Was the whole video faked and it's just all manually flown?


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