Last month 3DR introduced the world’s smartest drone – 3DR Solo. 3D Robotics, a Berkeley based company, has enabled it to be interoperable with GoPro cameras. The drone offers a wireless connection for live HD video content and telemetry. This enables real-time video on a mobile/tablet, and real-time control. It can be programmed to record (and transmit) video from a pre-defined angle and path/orbit. Additionally, it can operate object identification and tracking algorithms and define a real-time motion and orientation trajectory.
This drone operates on two 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processors that run Linux – one for the drone and one for the controller. The onboard computing accomplishes the real-time decision logic, taking pre-scripted drone movements and running them on software. This is the first processor-based drone, an evolution from the microcontroller based predecessors. Remember, there is the (optional) third processor for the video capture, processing and transmission – inside the GoPro Camera.
That is a lot of processing to do, if done on the drone batteries. It requires significant Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and/or Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) implementation for an optimized and scalable performance – on a power efficient implementation. On similar lines, Insitu – a subsidiary of the Unmanned Airborne Systems branch of Boeing Co. Defense, Space and Security (St. Louis) – has acquired 2d3 Sensing (Irvine, CA) primarily to boost capabilities on DSP and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Sensor Payloads.
eInfochips has just launched the ultra-powerful and remarkably efficient Eragon600 System-on-Module (SoM), that is ideal for UAV applications. It is based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon 600 processor – a proven platform from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. that already powers millions of battery-operated devices across the world. The Snapdragon 600 processor has an on-board Qualcomm® Kraita 300 GHz CPU from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to execute multiple complex tasks simultaneously. For multimedia processing and transfer, it has an onboard Qualcomm® Hexagon DSP and can also deploy the Onboard Qualcomm® Adreno 320 GPU from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. for real-time analytics. The drone camera can also use the Eragon600 SoM to capture, encode and stream HD video content. For the controller device, the Eragon600 SoM can enable a smartphone-like responsive GUI laden with graphics. It can be loaded with Android/Linux/Custom OS for loading the desired applications, keeping it independent of the user’s smartphone.
eInfochips has contributed hardware and software to UAVs/drones that are used today for military, research and commercial applications. Our expertise on real-time video, analytics and FAA-compliant aerospace engineering (with AS9100 Certification) is ideal for companies to develop and enhance drones. With the Eragon600 SoM and Dev Kit, eInfochips offers design and test services for companies looking to improve time-to-market with UAV products.
eInfochips offers engineering services to companies looking to develop complex systems. With 1500 professionals, eInfochips has contributed to 500+ products for global companies across USA, Europe and Asia. eInfochips has just launched their Eragon600 System-on-Module (SoM) and Development Kits for companies to integrate the Snapdragon 600 on their drone platforms. It comes with advanced communication interfaces and is complimented with development services and support from eInfochips experts. eInfochips team has already contributed solutions to multiple UAV products for military and civilian applications.