Qualcomm releases drone for developers with, among other things, 5G modem

Qualcomm has developed a drone for the Flight RB5 5G platform. The quadcopter is a developer reference design featuring a Spectra 580 isp capable of processing 200-megapixel still images and 8k30fps video, and a chipset suitable for AI applications.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G drone platform is intended as a base for professional delivery or photography and videography drones, whether or not for military reconnaissance missions. The drone platform uses a QRB516 robotics processor, a Kryo 585 CPU and an Adreno 650 GPU, and is based on a Snapdragon 865 soc. The drone has a dedicated Hexagon Tensor Accelerator in a Hexagon 698-dsp for complex AI tasks such as autonomous flying and navigating in confined spaces. Qualcomm already released that 5G RB5 platform last year, but the company shows a practical application for the platform with this reference drone.

The drone features a Qualcomm Spectra 480 Image Signal Processor capable of taking 200 megapixel stills and recording video at 8k30fps or 4k120fps with HDR. By default, the drone does not have a camera, but this processor can process the image of seven cameras at this quality simultaneously. The drone is also equipped with a 5G modem with mmWave, sub-6GHz frequency band and Wi-Fi 6. Qualcomm promises that the drone is suitable for flying long distances.

The drone is also equipped with various systems to fly autonomously and to circumvent objects, which are also included in DJI drones, for example, including object recognition, BVLOS, PX4 and path planning.

What Qualcomm is now showing is a reference design of a drone that can serve as a platform for the development of professional drones, a kind of developer kit. That design is for sale via ModalAI for the equivalent of 3408 euros without or 3834 euros with modem and will be sent in the third quarter of this year. Companies will then receive a drone frame equipped with the Flight RB5 flight computer, with or without 5G modem, the communication and image chips and battery, and equipped with 10×45″ propellers and 2216 880KV motors, VOXL ESCs and a Spektrum DSMX antenna. .