Qualcomm designs special ‘drone’ version of its Snapdragon system on chip

Qualcomm designs special ‘drone’ version of its Snapdragon system on chip

Qualcomm plans to release with a new device that aims to make drones smarter and cost-effective. Qualcomm has designed a special drone version of its Snapdragon system on a chip. The new chipset aimed at drones will have a heavy use of the GPU to carry out computer vision tasks.

Qualcomm has also come up with an information video that might be showing at the 2016 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. The key features of the device include an optical flow camera, visual inertial odometery, motion planning, obstacle mapping and many more interesting features.

It would mean that the drone would be aware where it is and auto-guide itself to overcome the obstacles. One of the special features includes visual inertial odometery, which will make high quality drones quite cost effective and more capable.

It is estimated that the same chip could prove useful for any other autonomous device that requires navigation. It may require software update and then could prove beneficial in anything from a house security guard robot to a self-driving car.

Snapdragon Flight handles 4K video in addition those bells and whistles with Qualcomm's "Quick Charge" tech on board. There is a feature of a 2.26 Ghz quad-core processor and Adreno 330 GPU. It is expected that the device would come early this year.

Experts have affirmed that artificial intelligence and robotics would become a lot easier as the algorithms are transferred to the hardware and just the work of integration is left for the software to do. It is in this way, robots will become a commodity item.

In other news Engadget reported, the platform also offers an optical flow camera, obstacle mapping, visual inertial odometry and motion planning. Based on the Snapdragon 801 processor, Flight handles 4K video in addition to those bells and whistles with Qualcomm's "Quick Charge" tech on board as well. The system is powered by a 2.26Ghz quad-core processor and Adreno 330 GPU and is expected to arrive early this year on Yuneec's drones first. Of course, we'll get to see it for ourselves in Vegas, and we'll be sure to let you know how it performs.

In a statement provided to NDTV, 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.

While Qualcomm processors can be found powering up most Android smartphones and tablets, in August, we heard that the company wanted to integrate their processors into drones. This made sense as the company would not build their own drone, they would sell companies their processors to equip them because they already integrate imaging capabilities, GPS and connectivity options which otherwise would require all of these components by separate. By integrating their processor, the company believes that drones could become more affordable soon. They named this platform Snapdragon Flight and they have created a video showing off some of the capabilities that drones would get if they are equipped with their products, according to a report from the AndroidHeadlines,




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