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.

Comments closed
    • BIF
    • 3 years ago

    Does UAV stand for “UnArmed Vehicle”?

    Because seriously, this thing looks like it could carry ordinance.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    This is a drone. Not a toy with ‘drone’ on the box.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    How much?

    Oh wait.

    • Firestarter
    • 3 years ago

    anyone know what advantages the V-shape offer?

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      My guess is that it provides sufficient stability while also providing a larger region that’s free of arms and propeller blades for the payload.

      For example, the traditional hexa/octo copters with equally spaced arms don’t give you as big of a region for the payload between arms, which means it might have to hang below the body of the drone instead (where it could be damaged more easily during landing).

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Lots of reasons, but the two I think that are most relevant here are:

      1) Widening the front keeps the rotors out of the camera’s FOV.

      2) Staggering the rotors in a V formation means that during forward/reverse thrust:
      i. each rotor gets more laminar, non-turbulent air making it more efficient (higher lift/watt)
      ii. thrust is staggered meaning that total thrust is increased (higher top speed)

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    I had the opportunity to see a Falcon 8 in action helping us with a bridge inspection. They’re pretty neat.

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      One issue with these press photos is getting a handle on the scale of how big the drones are.

      Is this what you would classify as a big “professional” drone as opposed to the smaller hobbyist models?

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        Can’t you tell from the DSLR for scale?

          • chuckula
          • 3 years ago

          HOW BIG IS THE DSLR?!?!!?

          OK, here’s its immediate predecessor and the physical design appears to be similar: [url<]http://www.360uas.com/asctec-falcon-8[/url<]

          • chµck
          • 3 years ago

          It’s technically not a DSLR since it has no mirror inside :^)

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        I’d say about 30″x30″. The guys we were working with had a Sony a6000 strapped to theirs. The picture above looks like a Sony a7.

        • chµck
        • 3 years ago

        [url<]http://i.imgur.com/3q4EZvr.jpg[/url<]

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    Very cool product no doubt.

    I don’t want to see Intel hyping stuff like this more than the chips that power it though. There are a crapton of cool devices out there using Intel hardware, but I don’t need Intel to tell me about the finished product.

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