Intel has disclosed its first fully branded drone code-named the Falcon 8+. The Intel-branded drone is designed for industrial jobs, such as those on large construction sites where a field inspection might take hours. The Falcon 8+ flies faster than most drones on the market and weighs only 6 pounds, notes Recode.
Stronger, faster than most drones
Intel unveiled its Falcon 8+ drone system at the 2016 INTERGEO drone conference in Hamburg. According to the chip maker, the drone is capable of providing “detailed images down to millimeter accuracy, offering valuable structural analysis that detects and prevents damage to infrastructure.”
The Falcon 8+ is controlled via a waterproof cockpit equipped with a tablet and joystick. Intel’s drone is far stronger than the consumer drones that interface with smartphones and is useful in a variety of commercial applications, including industrial mapping, surveying and inspection. Also it offers complete electronic system redundancy and “best in class sensors.”
The Falcon 8+, which has the ability to reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, is not Intel’s first foray into drones. The chip maker partnered with Ascending Technologies to refine its 360-degree depth-perception cameras for collision avoidance. Later it acquired Ascending Technologies. Now the cameras are used in Yuneec’s Typhoon H drone and the commercial AscTec Falcon 8, the predecessor to Falcon 8+, which is intended for professional or commercial hobbyist drone pilots, says Recode.
Intel moves beyond making chips
DJI accounts for 70% of the hobbyist drone market, but the industrial and commercial drone scene does not have a single dominant drone maker yet. 3DR touted itself as the leading drone maker in the United States once, and now, it is switching to building drones for commercial applications. Other drone companies like Kespry, DJI and Yuneec have commercial-grade offerings as well, notes Recode.
It is good to see Intel moving beyond just churning out microprocessors and chips. The chip making giant has been hard at work making all kinds of devices besides drone technology in recent years. It bought Basis Science in 2014 and launched a smartwatch. However, in August, the smartwatch was recalled after many people reported that the wearable was burning their wrists.
Intel shared its new virtual reality headset, Project Alloy, the same month, but no release date has been announced yet. Google and Amazon have been branding their own consumer products too.
On Tuesday, Intel shares closed down 1.97% at $37.27. Year to date, the stock is up almost 7%, while in the last year, it is up almost 16%.