Intel unveils the Aero, a ready-to-fly drone

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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, which was announced at the Intel Developer Forum, 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 helps drone users fly only where it’s safe and legal to do so.

Other chip makers, like NVIDIA, Ambarella and Qualcomm, have been vying to gain market share in the burgeoning, if not yet clearly regulated, domestic and international drones market.


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But they’ve done so by selling their microprocessors to other hardware manufacturers, including companies that make UAVs or cameras and other systems that are integrated into them to enhance functionality, usually around filming and aerial data capture.

Intel is also an equity investor in drone tech startups, including: Yuneec, which makes drones that automatically avoid obstacles even in tight spaces; Airware, developers of an operating system for commercial drones; and PrecisionHawk, makers of a fixed-wing drone and software for agricultural and other commercial drones.

Intel also acquired Ascending Technologies, a German autopilot tech company, in January this year. The Aero Ready-to-Fly drone will be available to purchase by the end of this year, but Intel did not announce a firm on-sale date or price.


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Intel unveils the Aero, a ready-to-fly drone

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