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What's New with ModalAI - September

What's New with ModalAI - September

Stay Connected Worldwide

The drone-enthusiasts at ModalAI know how important it is to stay connected to your autonomous vehicle at all times. Connectivity should go as far as your drone can. We are happy to announce that we are offering more support for wireless connectivity. 

Product Updates

Microhard Standalone now supports Android tablets LTE Add-On now supports worldwide cellular Use Python MASDK to navigate your drone autonomously

Use Microhard pDDL with your Android tablet

With our V2 Microhard USB-dongle, you can now use your desktop PC, laptop or Android tablet, as a ground control station for your drone. We added support for Android tablets for developers who are always on the go and want flexible ground control stations.

Microhard Standalone now supports Android tablets

LTE Add-On Supports Worldwide Cellular

We've upgraded our LTE Add-On for ultimate worldwide flexibility. The V2 of our LTE add-on can use any of the Sierra Wireless WP modem series. This add-on is compliant with NDAA 2020 Section 848. You can now connect to your device with any carrier anywhere in the world (with the appropriate WP module and SIM card). The add-on is currently shipping with either the WP7610 or WP7607. Please reach out at modalai.com/contact if you are interested in a different configuration.

Keep an eye out for our V2 LTE USB dongle coming soon.

LTE Add-On Supports Worldwide Cellular

Python MAVSDK with VIO and AprilTag Localization

We have a ready to use Python MAVSDK Docker image for VOXL which you can use to navigate your drone autonomously with VIO and AprilTag localization. Watch more demos like this on our Youtube.

Python MAVSDK with VIO and AprilTag Localization

Early Access: Time of Flight (ToF)

You asked, we listened. Time of Flight (ToF) sensor add-ons are here. Enjoy early access and achieve high-fidelity indoor depth mapping up to 6m. Get yours here.

We are here to support you with your next autonomous build. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on our products, tutorials and more. Subscribe at the bottom of our page.

For inquiries, contact us at hello@modalai.com


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What the New Defense Acts Mean for Drone Developers

What the New Defense Acts Mean for Drone Developers

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has played a major role in the way the U.S. military operates for more than 50 years. Every year, adjustments are made to the Act in efforts to maximize the safety of the warfighter. Starting 2020, Congress added new legislation regarding the procurement of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS or drones). The NDAA 2020 Section 848 now bars the DoD employees from procuring sUAS components, such as flight controllers, developed or manufactured in a covered foreign country, specifically China.

The provision prohibits the Department of Defense from using or renewing a contract for an UAS that:

  • was manufactured in
  • uses equipment, like cameras or flight controllers, manufactured in
  • employs a ground control system developed in or
  • utilizes a network or data storage administered by China or an entity domiciled in China.

Goldman Sachs predicts global militaries to spend $70 billion on drones in 2020 alone. As drone technology continues to aid missions by taking soldiers out of harm’s way, drone builders will need to be mindful of where they source their boards, radios and other parts from, especially with another piece of legislation on the way.

The Drone Origin Security Enhancement Act, which is currently making its way through the U.S. regulatory process, will also require that all drones used for security and defense applications by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) be made of components manufactured in the U.S.

The two government policies are established to encourage the use of drones built domestically as opposed to overseas, with hopes of creating a secure supply chain to ensure domestic availability and prevent foreign hacking of American drone technologies.

Government agencies are the first to make changes in the drone equipment procurement process, but this could mean changes commercially in the future. With this new legislation, companies that make unmanned aircraft systems must start to consider buying parts in America. This can also lead to benefits like easy accessibility to hands-on maintenance, quality control and legal compliance.

ModalAI designs and manufactures most of its printed circuit board assemblies in Southern California, making its products, including the newest VOXL Flight, compliant with both the current and upcoming federal acts. VOXL Flight is an outcome of ModalAI’s work with the Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit to provide the armed forces with state-of-the-art technology for Group 1 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the field.

More advantages of American-made drone parts include:

  • Procure parts more quickly. Build a reliable and consistent supply chain
  • Expedited development timelines for custom technology. No more waiting for long periods of time to get a look at the next product revision
  • Support the American economy and technology industry

To learn more about ModalAI products like the American-made VOXL Flight, visit www.modalai.com.

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