A new generation of consumer drones will be built around Qualcomm’s fresh off-the-shelf Snapdragon Flight board.
This new enterprise coming from the Qualcomm R&D department packs a great load of features meant to bring a new generation of consumer drones to an accessible price range of under 300 dollars. The reference design Snapdragon Flight drone was presented on Thursday during the Qualcomm: Accelerating Robotics event.
Amidst media, investors and analysts, Matt Grob, the CTO of Qualcomm Technologies presented the features of the new board. Hugo Swart, the senior director for product management didn’t leave the spectators wandering. The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight-operated reference design drone was flown for a while.
According to Qualcomm’s website:
“We believe that robotics can be brought to a whole new level by using highly integrated and optimized heterogeneous mobile compute platforms. To that end, we’re proud to announce Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight, a next-generation development platform designed to help manufacturers build the future of consumer robots and drones.”
Here’s what the hype is all about. We all remember how Qualcomm revolutionized the smartphone arena by deeply integrating processors and radios on a chip and driving a new generation of mobile phones, smaller, more affordable and more energy efficient. Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight intends to do the same.
This system on a chip is coined as such for a reason. Packed on one board as large as a business card, the Snapdragon 801 SoC is complemented by a quad-core 2.26GHz processor. Moreover, they accompanied by dual-band connectivity – Wi-fi and Bluetooth, 4K video processing capabilities, a receiver for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and rapid charging support.
This is Snapdragon Flight, Qualcomm’s tool to win the battle for powering the new generation of consumer drones. It resembles a scenario where drone meets latest technology smartphone, all packed in one.
Snapdragon Flight comes to the market to provide developers and drone manufacturers a middle way between the UAVs currently dominating the market. On one hand, there are drones the likes of Yuneec Typhoon, 3D Robotic Solo or DJI Phantom that are able to meet the most exigent requirements. Still, the price tag starts within a 700-dollar range.
On the other hand, as you look lower on the scale price, there are MiniDrones or AR. Drone, UAVs that resemble toys more than anything else.
As the reference design drone that was flown around Qualcomm’s event has shown, a middle way is possible. Thanks to Snapdragon Flight, a new generation of consumer drones is on its way.
Photo Credits: ubergizmo.com