Intel Falcon 8+ UAV takes to North American skies

It's pretty hard to read the news these days without hearing about drones. However, most of the news are about amateur-level drones, or commercial offerings for relatively simple tasks. Intel's latest effort aims to fly a little higher than that, though. Meet the Intel Falcon 8+ System UAV, a V-shaped octocopter packed with redundant systems, announced today at the Intergeo conference in Hamburg.

Intel says the Falcon 8+'s electronics systems are fully redundant, and that the drone includes "automated aerial-sensing solution" and a triple-redundant Ascending Technologies Trinity autopilot system. The Falcon 8+ UAV is apparently targeted at aerial imaging and data collection jobs, as evidenced by the millimeter-accurate ground sample distance (GSD) of its camera system. According to Intel, all the avionics and gear in the Falcon 8+ make it an excellent candidate for structural analysis jobs.

The drone itself is only a part of the package, though. The aptly-named Intel Cockpit serves as a control station for the UAV and includes a tablet computer for flight planning and monitoring. The Cockpit is water-resistant and looks rugged enough to our eyes. (We'd also wager that with a little work, it can made into a totally-awesome arcade joystick.)

The Falcon 8+ is targeted at the North American market and is a successor of Ascending Technologies' Falcon 8 drone. Intel snapped up AscTec back in January and has apparently made good use of the company's technology. Intel offered no price for the UAV system, but we'd wager this falls squarely into drone-monitored, "if you have to ask" territory.

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