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Qualcomm releases the world's first 5G and AI-enabled drone reference platform

The new Flight RB5 5G reference drone. (Source: Qualcomm)
The new Flight RB5 5G reference drone. (Source: Qualcomm)
The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform has launched as the world's first reference build for 5G- and AI-capable drones. Its maker asserts that this emerging form of airborne IoT for industry and commerce makes for powerful, yet power-efficient and above all smart UAVs with mmWave connectivity. It is already on the market, although it does not come cheap.

Qualcomm has introduced the new Flight RB5 5G Platform as the inaugural 5G/AI-powered reference kit for the most likely enterprise-grade drone of the future. It is based on the QRB5165 processor (with new mmWave modules), which, as the OEM asserts, is all a drone needs for powerful aerial autonomy that goes easy on battery life.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G platform is thus rated for advanced intelligent robot flight features such as beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) navigation, thanks to the machine-learing and edge-grade inference capabilities conferred by its QRB5165 robotics platform.

It also supports Wi-Fi 6 to be sure of contact with its operator, or to gather the data it needs while in the air. Furthermore, the RB5 5G is a successor to the Flight Platform that powered the Ingenuity Helicopter during its autonomous Martian sojourn.

Its maker has also announced that it has been validated and approved by a variety of carriers or industry partners such as Asia Pacific Telecom, AT&T, China Unicom, KT, LG Uplus, ModalAI, Taiwan Mobile, TDK and Verizon Skyward, some of which may integrate it into its next-gen commercial offerings.

Qualcomm has also released the Platform for sale through ModalAI, although at US$4000 it might take quite the non-business enthusiast to buy one. The OEM has also announced that an additional development kit based on the Flight RB5 5G Platform will also be released in the last quarter of 2021.

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 5100 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 08 > Qualcomm releases the world's first 5G and AI-enabled drone reference platform
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-08-18 (Update: 2021-08-21)