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Intel Insight Platform To Solve Drone Data Conundrum

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Cloud-based platform to help enterprises with data volumes associated with commercial drone systems

Intel continues to bolster its drone capabilities with the announcement of the Intel Insight Platform (IIP) – a cloud-based data processing, analytics and reporting service.

The idea is that the IIP will initially only help selected enterprises to deal with all the data they gather during a drone flight.

It comes as Intel continues to ramp up its investment in drone technology, with includes its early 2016 purchase of German drone maker Ascending Technologies, which made auto-pilot software and algorithms.

Intel Future Showcase - RealSense Drone

Drone Analytics

The IIP was revealed to the world at the InterDrone 2017 conference in Las Vegas, during which CEO Brian Krzanich delivered the event’s grand keynote.

Intel has developed the cloud platform in partnership with Delair, experts in both long-range UAV manufacturing and data processing.

The thinking here is that the IIP will allow businesses to derive value from all the data collected during a drone flight. For example this could be from inspections and surveying in the construction and mining industries, to other uses for example in precision agriculture, oil and gas.

It will allow for the building of 2D and 3D models, the taking of measurements, and making annotations for sharing across teams. It also allow for advanced data analytics such as change detection and plant counting.

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But how does this actually work in the real world when flying a drone?

Well Krzanich provided an example of an inspection mission with the Intel Falcon 8+ system. In this case, Intel RealSense technology (flight planning automation with Intel Mission Control software and automatic change detection with Intel Insight Platform) can ease the workload on a drone pilot.

It would do this by creating a “buffer zone” between the drone and the object being inspected.

Setting the distance for a mission helps the drone pilot deliver data accuracy by keeping the distance constant with consistent resolution and perspective of the photos. On the return flight, the drone remembers its path and avoids obstacles.

“With Intel Insight Platform, we look forward to working with customers to manage large complex data sets and help provide them with automated analytics and uncover new insights,” said Anil Nanduri, head of Intel’s UAV segment. “With the addition of Insight, Intel is leading the way in providing an end-to-end solution to our customer from drone platforms to data analytics.”

Intel has also teamed up with the California-based Menlo Park Fire Protection District to support its continued research and utilisation of drone platforms “to further evaluate how UAVs can enhance and improve emergency response and critical responder situational awareness.”

Other Business

Intel has been expanding into promising new sectors in order to offset the decline of its core PC chip business.

The company has previously acquired wearable device makers Basis and Recon Instruments, and in August 2015, invested $60 million (£41m) in Chinese drone maker Yuneec.

Last year Intel also teamed up with AT&T to test and develop wireless networks for drones as part of an investment of nearly $10 billion (£6.9bn) into its business services unit.

The two firms are working together to evaluate the performance of LTE data networks, which were built to link ground-based devices, when used to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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