Ahead of CES 2016 next week, Qualcomm has given us a preview of its Snapdragon Flight drone platform in a new video, which it had announced back in September last year.
The new video by the tech firm shows a drone automatically detecting obstacles and dodging them without any commands given by the user in its Autonomous flight mode. The video also shows the drone's 3D mapping technology using its inbuilt cameras and sensors. Motion planning functionality has also been shown. Qualcomm will be giving more details about its drone platform during CES 2016 in Las Vegas.
For a quick recap, Qualcomm in September announced its Snapdragon Flight drone platform allowing designers and developers to create new products that support 4K video recording with stabilisation, GPS navigation with obstacle avoidance, and real-time flight control. The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight is a single development board measuring 58x40mm and is based on a Snapdragon 801 SoC.
For reference, the Snapdragon 801 has a quad-core 2.26GHz CPU, integrated Adreno 330 graphics, a Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, and dedicated image and video processing hardware. Dual-band Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth 4.0 and global satellite navigation will allow for remote control and communications. Qualcomm's Quick Charge tech will allow for rapid charging between flights, allowing for longer deployments and less turnaround time.
Qualcomm at the time of unveiling said it will be providing hardware and software aimed at high-end drones. Camera capabilities include simultaneous 4K and 720p recording and encoding, video stabilisation, image enhancement, inertial measurement, and optic flow for navigation and obstacle avoidance. There is also support for additional sensors such as a barometer.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight platform will be targeted at high-end commercial and consumer drones as well as other robotic applications. It can be implemented as a reference design or customised further by developers.
The first drones built on the platform are expected to launch in the first half of 2016, including one from Yuneec.