Intel Announces Advances in Commercial, Entertainment Drone Capabilities

At AUVSI Xponential 2017, held May 9-11, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took the stage to deliver the show’s opening keynote address, sharing the latest technology fueling the growth of autonomous applications for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

During his presentation, Krzanich introduced new and upcoming commercial drone capabilities that demonstrate the potential of Intel technology. From commercial products such as the Intel Falcon 8+ System and the MAVinci Sirius Pro System to Intel Shooting Star drone light shows for entertainment, Intel has a range of solutions for the drone ecosystem.

Some of the company’s highlights include the following:

Advancing the commercial drone market

As companies consider commercial drone solutions to help maximize operational efficiency by reducing down time, increasing safety and lowering costs, Intel is accelerating this trend with software and hardware innovations for commercial drones. Intel says these innovations will streamline drone operations and expand use cases for commercial drones.

The Intel Falcon 8+ drone featured in today’s keynote during the bridge inspection simulation epitomizes robust flight performance, advanced safety and data accuracy, making it an ideal solution for inspection and close mapping. Intel says it is ramping up production of this multi-rotor commercial drone – its latest commercial drone offering – for the North America market.

This demonstration showcased an automated bridge inspection with Intel Mission Control software, a new application that will facilitate flight planning, management and post-processing, planned for release later this year.

Intel Mission Control software requires a few key parameters to generate a flight plan, mapping an optimized flight path to capture the images needed for a thorough inspection. An inspection mission requires a highly skilled pilot to fly the drone along all surfaces of the structure to capture its many angles, which is then typically replicated six to 12 months later for comparison purposes. Intel Mission Control software, when available, will simplify and automate this process.

In the keynote, a demonstration was shown on how the workflow for a bridge inspection can be automated end-to-end. Once the mission is complete and data is synced, the software starts to transfer captured images and associated positioning information into analytics software so data can be immediately reviewed to get initial insights on-site. Today’s keynote demonstration also included an example of this with software from Bentley Systems as part of an automated workflow to generate 3D models from this drone-captured data.

In addition, Intel will be collaborating with Airbus to leverage Intel drone platforms for automating aircraft inspection purposes. Airbus will combine its software solutions for aircraft inspection with Intel drone platforms to accelerate and automate the inspection workflow, both outdoor on the tarmac and indoor inside its hangars.

Intel says it is also working with other software providers to similarly streamline solutions to apply insights from images taken from drones tackling challenges facing a range of industries.

To continue advancing commercial drone capabilities, Intel is expanding ease of use for payloads by developing technology that will allow for more flexible payload options. The Intel Falcon 8+ drone has already demonstrated an easy payload exchange and, later this year, will release a new API framework and defined hardware interfaces so customers can add custom payloads.

Intel drone light shows

Intel also works to expand the use cases for drone technology, including a novel approach to entertainment through drone light shows. Introduced less than a year ago, the Intel Shooting Star drone for light shows has dazzled audiences worldwide with its capabilities, innovation and animations in the sky.

Today, keynote attendees were treated to a drone light show with breakthrough indoor location technology.

The Intel Shooting Star drones are a new type of unmanned aerial vehicle, specifically designed for entertainment purposes, such as festivals and entertainment events. This quadcopter drone is built with safety in mind, equipped with LED lights that can create more than 4 billion color combinations, and can be easily programmed for any animation.

During the keynote, Krzanich announced the next version of the Intel Shooting Star drone for outdoor light shows and will work with key partners to scale these performances globally.

 

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