Intel’s Aero Drone Offers Mixed Bag of New Tech, Including AirMap


AirMap, a provider of airspace information for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), has launched the AirMap Platform, which is allowing anyone, such as app developers and UAS manufacturers, to integrate AirMap’s information into their products – including Intel.

Today at the Intel Developer Forum, Intel announced its “Aero Ready to Fly” drone, a quadcopter that supports the AirMap Platform for airspace services, is equipped with Intel RealSense technology, has a pre-programmed flight controller with Dronecode PX4 software, and runs on the open-source Linux operating system.

“This ready-to-fly unmanned aerial vehicle development platform is a fully assembled quadcopter, built around the Intel Aero Compute Board. It is geared for developers, researchers and UAV enthusiasts to help get applications airborne quickly,” Intel explains in its product description.

Intel says the drone will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. The company is also taking pre-orders on its Intel Aero Platform for drones – a UAV developer kit powered by Intel’s Atom quad-core processor.

According to AirMap, more than 600 other app developers and manufacturers are already using the AirMap Platform, such as drone manufacturers DJI and 3DR, apps Hover and KittyHawk, and the Know Before You Fly UAS safety campaign.

AirMap states that its “airspace intelligence and awareness technology” includes as follows:

  • The AirMap Map SDK, which offers global airspace maps for UAS operators;
  • The AirMap Pilot API, which developers can use to incorporate an AirMap account into their project for “easy identification and profile authentication across devices”;
  • The AirMap Status API, which tells drone pilots whether or not an area is safe for flying; and
  • The AirMap Flight API, which allows end-users to provide a digital notice of flight, such as when they are flying within five miles of an airport.

“The Intel Aero Platform gives developers a quick way to build and launch their own drone applications on the AirMap SDK,” AirMap explains in a news post.

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