The drone has eight rotors arranged in a distinctive V-shape, designed that way so the rotors at the front don’t get in the way of a payload, said Natalie Cheung, a drone marketing manager at Intel.
“We’ve really thought about what are some of the issues commercial customers face today and when they want to get that crisp, hi-res image, you don’t want any of the rotors in the image,” she said.
Redundancy is a key feature of the device — it can continue flying even if up to two rotors on either side stop spinning. The autopilot has three different inertial measurement systems, so if one suffers from interference it can keep flying. It also take two batteries and will seamlessly switch power sources when one is exhausted.
Intel also debuted a new controller.
“It’s much more compact and we’ve really thought about the user interface for this,” said Cheung.
Called the Intel Cockpit, it’s a completely new design that replaces a previous one that was based on a model airplane controller. It has a single joystick to control the drone and a second joystick to control the camera payload.
The drone is one of a number of steps Intel has taken in the drone market this year, which began with CEO Brian Krzanich declaring at CES that “We believe we’re truly on the verge of a drone revolution.”
Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.