Qualcomm unveils new 5G- and AI-capable drone platform

5G and AI will help improve drone autonomy

Qualcomm announced a new drone platform and reference design that leverages both 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

Dubbed the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform, Qualcomm says the new solution will help accelerate development for commercial, enterprise and industrial drones. The Flight RB5 5G Platform uses Qualcomm’s QRB5165 processor and condenses multiple complex technologies into one tightly integrated drone system. The company notes that the platform will be able to support evolving applications and new use cases, including in sectors like film and entertainment, security, emergency response, delivery, defence, inspection and mapping.

Moreover, Qualcomm says the Flight RB5 Platform offers high-performance computing at ultra-low power consumption. Combined with the power-efficient inferencing at the edge for AI and machine learning (ML), the platform enables fully autonomous drones.

Additionally, Qualcomm noted that the platform boasts “breakthrough camera capabilities” that will help deliver premium imaging and performance.

5G and Wi-Fi 6 support will enhance flying abilities beyond line-of-sight, which will improve safety and reliability. And for critical drone use applications, Qualcomm’s Secure Processing Unit will help protect drones and ensure safety requirements.

Qualcomm says the Flight RB5 5G drone reference design is now available for pre-sale through ModalAI. Further, the company expects the RB5 development kit to be available in Q4 2021. Those interested can learn more on Qualcomm’s website.

Image credit: Qualcomm