HomeTechQualcomm readies 5G and AI drone platform

Qualcomm readies 5G and AI drone platform

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Qualcomm is unveiling its platform that enables aerial drones to tap each 5G and AI technologies.



The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G platform will support accelerate development for industrial, enterprise, and industrial drones. The hope is to allow enterprises to capture information from drone cameras and method that information at the edge of the network.



The platform is powered by Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, and it builds upon Qualcomm’s most recent world-wide-web of issues (IoT) offerings. The aim is to allow a new generation of low-energy 5G drones that can capture a lot of information by way of cameras and transmit that information by way of 5G to an operator or sent it more than longer distances more than a network. The platform has AI as nicely so that it can figure out what information is most beneficial and send that so it can decrease the quantity of raw site visitors on a network.

The aim is to use 5G to revolutionize the robotics and drone business, specifically by enabling drone information to be made use of in private 5G networks for industrial applications such as factories.

A wide variety of applications

Image Credit: Qualcomm

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform condenses a number of complicated technologies into one tightly integrated drone technique to assistance evolving applications and new use instances in sectors which includes film and entertainment, safety and emergency response, delivery, defense, inspection, and mapping, mentioned Dev Singh, basic manager of autonomous robots, drones, and intelligent machines at Qualcomm, in an interview with VentureBeat.

“Qualcomm is taking its current leadership in 5G and AI to scale the next generation of drones and IoT,” mentioned Singh. “With 5G and AI, it is going to help accelerate development of commercial enterprise industrial drones and really open up innovative possibilities for industries to looking to adopt high performance, low power, small form factor, long-range communication, autonomous and intelligent drones.”

Qualcomm is currently engaged with more than 200 robotics and drone ecosystem businesses, and it is also driving worldwide drone standardization technologies as nicely, Singh mentioned.

The platform has eight CPUs on it, a graphics processing unit (GPU), a neural processing engine, and cameras that can deal with 8K resolution and 4K capture at 120 frames per second. It has seven cameras that give it situational awareness and allow it to steer clear of collisions.

“It’s a very intelligent drone,” he mentioned.

He mentioned the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform is objective-constructed for drone development with enhanced autonomy and intelligence features, bringing premium connected flight capabilities to industrial, enterprise and industrial segments.

Qualcomm launched its initial drone flight platform in 2015, and it was made use of in the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab mission to Mars, powering the Ingenuity drone helicopter. That helicopter has made 10 flights and imaged more than a mile of the surface of Mars. The second-generation drone design and style debuted in 2018, and it powers the Uber Eats meal delivery drones.

Singh believes that businesses can partition AI tasks, offering energy-effective AI on the device to make certain privacy, reliability, low latency, and effective use of network bandwidth. The cloud can also deal with heavy-duty AI instruction and inferencing.

“We’re seeing a significant interest because the drone use cases are now going beyond hobby and commercial to the enterprise,” Singh mentioned. “The shipments of devices are going five-fold fron a million in 2021 to three million to five million in 2025.”

Seven cameras for collision avoidance

Image Credit: Qualcomm

The platform supports a drone with seven cameras, each for capturing video information as nicely as avoiding collisions with objects in the sky. It can deal with energy-effective inferencing at the edge for AI and machine finding out for completely autonomous drones. It connects by way of 5G or Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, providing drones the capacity to fly beyond line-of-sight. The drone makes use of a Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit for cybersecurity protection.

Qualcomm is working with Verizon to total network testing of the Qualcomm Flight RB5 Platform for the Verizon 5G network, and expects the platform, which is 5G millimeter-wave capable, will be provided by way of the Verizon Thingspace Marketplace.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G drone reference design and style (a blueprint for drone producers) is readily available for pre-sale now via ModalAI.

The drones have been price lowered more than the years, and now the elements match on a credit-card size board.

Singh believes it will be beneficial in a wide selection of applications, which includes oil and gas exploration, wind farms, entertainment, deliveries, public security, agriculture, and inspection. While drone deliveries may well appear far fetched, there are conditions exactly where it could matter, such as delivering drugs to patients who will need them appropriate away, or delivery paths that circumvent site visitors jams.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G development kit is anticipated to be readily available in the fourth quarter. Qualcomm has supporting comments for the tech from AT&ampT, Asia Pacific Telecom, China Unicom, Everguard.ai, Korea Telecom, LG Uplus, Mitre-Engenuity, Taiwan Mobile, InvenSense, Skyward, and other individuals.

“We think the power of 5G and AI put together is unlocking all this potential,” Singh mentioned.

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