Intel-powered UAV quadcopter platform targets educational markets

September 07, 2017 // By Julien Happich
Now shipping from RS Components in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions, the Intel Aero Ready to Fly Drone development platform is powered by a variety of Intel technologies and offers developers and researchers a fast path for airborne application development.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development kit enables professional application developers that are less familiar with drone mechanics and avionics to focus on the application software and sensor hardware and ensure the optimisation of data and services. Typical applications include cargo delivery, inspection and surveillance, as well as potential for use in the agriculture and construction sectors. The open and flexible nature of the platform, in addition to the use of open source software, friendly licensing, and affordability of the hardware, makes the kit ideal for use in schools and universities.
The Intel Aero platform provides a complete development ecosystem for the drone, comprising the Intel Aero Compute Board, Intel Aero Vision Accessory Kit, and Intel Aero Flight Controller with Dronecode PX4 autopilot software. Also included are electronic speed controllers, motors, compass, GPS, transmitter and receiver, and a carbon-fibre airframe. The only addition required is a battery to get the system up and running both quickly and easily.
The brain inside the open-source and feature-rich quadcopter is the Intel Aero Compute Board, which is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor that combines computing, storage, communications and flexible I/O in a form-factor that is only the size of a playing card. The board is also equipped with Intel RealSense technology for depth and vision and a pre-programmed flight controller with the Dronecode PX4 software, as well as support for the AirMap SDK for airspace services.
To provide flight vision and sensing capabilities, the Vision Accessory Kit comprises the Intel RealSense R200 camera, a high-resolution 8-megapixel camera and a VGA camera, as well as associated cables. Also available is the Intel Aero Enclosure Kit, which is a mechanical enclosure that is designed specifically to hold the Compute Board and three-camera Vision Accessory Kit. An optional device available for the Intel Aero Ready to Fly Drone is the recently launched Movidius Neural Compute Stick (NCS), which enables advanced computer vision, awareness and