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Qualcomm teases its chip for drones with autonomous navigation

The Snapdragon Flight drone platform will be on display at CES.
Billy Steele
December 31, 2015
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We've known about Qualcomm's drone ambitions for a few months now, but it looks like the company is ready to demo the goods. Ahead of CES next week, the chipmaker teased features of its Snapdragon Flight drone platform. If you'll recall, Qualcomm is aiming to do for drones what its done for phones. And that starts with putting camera and communications tech on the same board. Perhaps most notably, Snapdragon Flight offers and autonomous navigation mode. This means when you're done filming, you can push a button and the UAV will return to the launch pad, avoiding any objects that block its path.

The platform also offers an optical flow camera, obstacle mapping, visual inertial odometry and motion planning. Based on the Snapdragon 801 processor, Flight handles 4K video in addition to those bells and whistles with Qualcomm's "Quick Charge" tech on board as well. The system is powered by a 2.26Ghz quad-core processor and Adreno 330 GPU and is expected to arrive early this year on Yuneec's drones first. Of course, we'll get to see it for ourselves in Vegas, and we'll be sure to let you know how it performs.

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