It’s a bird, it’s a plane… It’s the new Intel drone

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In addition to its growing popularity among aviation enthusiasts and amateur photographers, the drone is also cementing its role as an unusual work tool with remarkable capabilities, rather than just a security product. Now Intel is unveiling the Falcon 8+, its new drone designed for professional and industrial uses.

360-degree spotting of obstacles

Intel’s new drone contains a system for evading obstacles, similar to that used in drones such as the DJI’s Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro. In contrast to those drones, the Falcon 8+’s system has 360-degree capability for spotting obstacles, not only from below and in front. German company Ascending Technologies, acquired by Intel in January this year, is reported to be behind the development of this system.

Intel’s drone weighs 2.7 kilos, which is considered relatively light for professional and industrial drones. Intel says that the drone’s stabilizing system provides the best stabilization even under difficult conditions. The Falcon 8+ is capable of reaching speeds of 56 kilometers per hour. According to Intel, it can provide an images that are, “accurate to the millimeter.” One of the new drone’s advantages is the option of easily replacing its payload, making it suitable for different uses by each customer.

The drone is guided with a controller, pictured below. It is hardened and water-proofed, includes an Intel tablet for use in live streaming 1080p quality images back to the pilot.

Intel Cockpit, water-resistant user interface, is part of the Intel Falcon 8+ unmanned aerial system. Photo Credit: Intel
Intel Cockpit, water-resistant user interface, is part of the Intel Falcon 8+ unmanned aerial system. Photo Credit: Intel

The drone’s special features will make it attractive for uses such as search and rescue, discovering and locating leaks, security, supervision of high-tension wires, tracking weather, mapping, etc. Unfortunately, Intel left out other important details in their release, such as the drone’s flight time, range, launch date, and price.

Interpretation: Intel does not really want to compete with DJI

As mentioned, this is not Intel’s first salsa at the drone ball. In addition to its acquisition of Ascending Technologies, a month ago the company acquired Movidius, a company that develops computer vision chips that were integrated in DJI’s drones and Google’s Tango devices. The company also uses RealSense technology developed in Israel, and has invested $60 million in Chinese drone manufacturer Yuneec.

Nevertheless, despite the new drone announced by Intel, the company will continue its focus on its core business of chips and processors, and does not really intend to compete with drone company DJI. Just as Intel’s business extends to other areas, such as the Alloy virtual reality project, the MICA watch in the wearables field, and even the Compute Stick and NUC in the PC sector, the company wants to display its vision to manufacturers (OEMs) and the possible uses of its products.

Through its acquisitions and continued technological development of its various drones, Intel can offer manufacturers chips and comprehensive kits with all the technology already inside. In this way, the manufacturers can concentrate on designing their product, devising additional features and uses, and marketing.

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