3D Robotics

3689704089?profile=originalI'm excited about this, not least because Aero will support the Dronecode stack out of the box. From PC World:

Intel in December will start shipping a fully loaded drone kit to let you do just that, with all the parts including the rotors, software, 3D camera and flight controller.3689697889?profile=original

Intel's Aero Ready to Fly Drone kit will go on sale on the company's website. An Intel spokeperson couldn't immediately provide a price. But it won't be cheap—likely more than $600.

The quadcopter kit has parts that Intel uses to build its own drones. On the company's part, the drone airshows it has organized are getting ambitious: the company has put up 100, and most recently, 500 drones in the sky.

Drones themselves are getting sophisticated. DJI's Phantom has chips and 3D cameras that can navigate safely while avoiding collisions. The Intel Aero Ready to Fly Drone kit has the 3D RealSense camera, which can measure distances and recognize objects and help the drones, when programmed correctly, to fly autonomously to a given destination.

The 3D RealSense camera attaches to a central computer called the Aero Compute Board, which gives the drone its computing horsepower. (Intel also sells the Aero Compute Board separately for $399.) It is powered by a quad-core Atom X7-Z8700 CPU code-named Cherry Trail. It also has LTE, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a flight controller. The board also has 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 16GB of flash storage, a micro-SD slot, a micro-HDMI port, and a wide set of connectors for adapters and breakout boards. It also has the Altera Max 10 FPGA, which can reprogrammed for image recognition, navigation and other deep-learning tasks.

The drone will work with the Airmap software development kit for navigation. Programming will also be required to put the drone in the air. For example, you can use the RealSense SDK to program image recognition for the 3D camera.

An overview on how to build drones from the recent Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2016 is available on Youtube.

The kit will ship in some countries in North America, Europe and Asia. For U.S. buyers Intel has included a caveat relating to government regulations on requiring authorization to fly drones.

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  • After some confusion along the way, Intel have confirmed that an IMU, compass and barometer are on the Aero board.
    So no need for the external flight controller unless you want to run px4. Ardupilot will run native.
  • Thanks Rob and Patrick.
  • Marc
    Following the misleading and confusing information provided by CA, I seeked for second advice on discuss.ardupilot.
    I want to thanks Lucas for his simple and clear answer.
  • @Auturgy -- You make a good point. At this point I have to basically get my cynical mindset every time I read a blog post from Chris Anderson. I am still trying to decide if the comment by @Lucas was a mild rebuke to CA or a clarification.

  • Yeah, I saw those.  But they leave more questions than answers.

    I do believe the Aero board has the IMU and compass onboard, and you can run Ardupilot on it directly, today.  For real.

  • For Rob: http://diydrones.com/m/blogpost?id=705844%3ABlogPost%3A2299764

    Not sure whether source code is released. Being px4, might not be.

    I still want to know if the Aero board has the IMU and compass!
    I'm really frustrated at the attempts to spin and mislead. Frankly it insults the whole community, most of whom just want straight answers and don't care for the 3DR/px4/DroneCode/Ardupilot/license drama.
    Chris: you made some poor business decisions. It happens. PX4 won't get your VC money back. Write a blog post, be honest about it and you might regain some integrity.
    Rob: time to move on. Just be the better man. You know what you're good at - don't let anger distract you. I'm waiting for a 6 hour electric heli!
  • I think ever since Intel  got involved in Dronecode this flight controller deck has been stacked. :-)

    I don't mind the hardware itself, but would anyone want to develop something at their own cost on a platform that will be commercialised and IP protected? (Read you might not be allowed to use it yourself down the line because of copyright?)

    I call this idea harvesting....because money never had a good idea itself.

  • @Chris,

    Snapdragon and Aero are both native Linux, and I personally run it on the RaspberryPi with Navio 2.  

    There are no announcement saying PX4 is running on native Linux on Aero. Like the article you linked said, it has a separate flight controller (HW) that runs PX4 flight stack. Aero has a communication channel with this separate board.

    Disclaimer: I'm an Intel employee.

  • Chris, I wish I didn't have to guess at what PX4 capability is, but there is too often a gap between claims and reality.  The documentation is very unclear and incomplete and readers are left trying to figure out how to get things work (and sometimes discovering they just don't).  

  • Developer

    >Here's what the PX4 stack does to extend from the camera to the cloud: 

    And just to be clear all those features in the boxes will work with ArduPilot as they are provided by ROS integration, MAVLink compatibility etc.. you can run ArduPilot or PX4 FlightStack. The onboard API/SDKs are also there.. It's not a 'PX4 only stack' but a group of what is essentially interchangeable parts. That diagram couldn't be more non-specific. 

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