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ModalAI Releases New Seeker Micro-Development Drone and VOXL CAM Perception Engine that Powers Smaller Drones, Robots and IoT Devices

ModalAI Releases New Seeker Micro-Development Drone and VOXL CAM Perception Engine that Powers Smaller Drones, Robots and IoT Devices

World’s First Micro-development Drone, ModalAI Seeker, Provides Autonomous Navigation Indoor and Outdoor

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 2, 2021 ModalAI® officially released two new products today that help developers create smaller, smarter and safer robots and drones quickly and easily – the VOXL CAM perception engine and the Seeker micro-development drone, the world’s first micro-development drone optimized for development of both indoor and outdoor autonomous navigation. Both new products are now on sale at modalai.com.

The VOXL CAM is an all-in-one compute and perception engine that makes it easier to develop smaller, smarter and safer drones, robots and Internet of Things (IoT) devices with GPS-denied navigation, depth mapping, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flight control and cellular connectivity. The credit card-sized VOXL CAM powers the Seeker micro-development drone, ModalAI’s newest and smallest drone to date. 

“The VOXL CAM platform provides smarter perception and safer navigation for autonomous devices beyond drones. For commercial and industrial developers and researchers who want powerful perception and autonomy, the VOXL CAM’s small form factor and modularity make it easy to mount onto drones, robots and wearable IoT devices,” said Chad Sweet, CEO, ModalAI. “It condenses the computing power of seven PCBs and four concurrent image sensors into one compact, modular platform.”

VOXL CAM Perception Engine Offers Smart Computing and Safe Indoor Navigation, All in One Small Package 

Built on the foundation of the VOXL Flight Deck, the VOXL CAM is a single printed circuit board (PCB) that easily attaches to robots, drones or IoT devices to activate autonomy for a breadth of applications. 

The VOXL CAM perception engine includes the integrated Qualcomm® Snapdragon 821 chipset, which enables GPS-denied navigation, depth mapping, object detection, obstacle avoidance and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). 

The VOXL CAM perception engine has four image sensor concurrencies onboard, including:

  • Time of flight (ToF) for indoor depth mapping
  • Stereo pair image sensors for outdoor depth mapping 
  • Tracking image sensor for Visual-Inertial Odometry (VIO) localization

It pre-integrates a PX4 drone flight controller, ModalAI’s Flight Core. In addition, it has three onboard Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) and a barometer for controlling flight height.

Seeker Micro-Development Drone is Ideal for Indoor and Outdoor Autonomous Navigation

The Seeker micro-development drone has a small form factor and enhanced visual capabilities, making it optimal for drones to safely and autonomously navigate tight spaces indoors and outdoors. The base weight of the VOXL CAM onboard the Seeker is just 57.5 grams and 87 grams with the flight controller and modem installed. It can also operate on the 4G cellular network, depending on the configuration.

“The Seeker drone is the smallest reference drone ModalAI has designed to date. It’s a true micro-drone with powerful computing in a small form factor perfect for navigating GPS-denied, tight spaces that people can’t reach,” said Sweet. “Its micro-design unlocks a plethora of use cases for developers ranging from asset inspection to mission-critical.”

Both products are built on Blue UAS Framework components VOXL Flight and Flight Core. ModalAI’s autopilots are Assembled in America and compliant with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA 2020).

Order the VOXL CAM perception engine from ModalAI starting at $999.99 or the Seeker micro-development drone starting at $2,999 at modalai.com.

About ModalAI

ModalAI accelerates the development of smaller, smarter and safer drones with SWAP-optimized Blue UAS Framework autopilots built in the U.S.A. From home and business security to retail and government applications, the company’s highly-integrated AI-powered modules empower a variety of industries to utilize aerial and ground autonomous navigation systems that communicate on 4G and 5G cellular networks. 

Based in San Diego, California, ModalAI spun out of Qualcomm® in 2018 and leverages over five years of prior research and development in the drone and robotic markets. For more information visit www.modalai.com.

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Qualcomm® is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Chad Sweet of ModalAI Named Future of Tech Honoree in 2021 Top Tech Awards

Chad Sweet of ModalAI Named Future of Tech Honoree in 2021 Top Tech Awards

ModalAI CEO Recognized for His Work on VOXL Flight® – A Simplified Drone Development Platform

Chad Sweet, CEO and co-founder of ModalAI, was recognized yesterday as a Future of Tech honoree in the 2021 Top Tech Awards. Chad led the ModalAI team in the creation of the VOXL Flight, the first open-development platform for autonomous drone navigation that fuses a companion computer with a PX4 flight controller on one printed circuit board (PCB).

Chad was awarded for his work on VOXL Flight because the technology supports and simplifies the development of drone-based solutions and has significant impact on the growth of the robotics sector. Equipped with GPS-denied navigation and obstacle avoidance, VOXL Flight offers a plug-and-play solution that allows developers to create drones that can fly autonomously on 4G and 5G networks. Sweet most notably spearheaded the Qualcomm Flight, the predecessor to VOXL Flight, that is powering NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter – the first drone to fly on Mars.

“ModalAI’s mission is to accelerate autonomy for smaller, smarter and safer drones by providing innovators with robot and drone perception and communications systems that utilize the latest technology. I appreciate being recognized for our efforts to set new standards for innovation and growth in the U.S. drone industry with the Top Tech Awards,” said Chad Sweet, CEO, ModalAI.

The Top Tech Awards honor outstanding technology leaders who work in the San Diego Region. They celebrate the unsung heroes of information technology, as these brilliant leaders and their teams serve as the behind-the-scenes forces that keep companies running.

In August 2021, ModalAI was named the manufacturer and distributor of Qualcomm Technologies’ world first 5G and AI-enabled drone platform and reference design, the Qualcomm Flight™ RB5 5G Platform. ModalAI worked with Qualcomm to design and develop the platform and reference design and will distribute and support it through its lifecycle with open-source software and applications.

About ModalAI
ModalAI accelerates autonomy by providing innovators with robot and drone perception and communications systems that are manufactured in the U.S.A. Offering both start-to-finish custom design services and plug-and-play computing platforms, ModalAI helps manufacturers and independent builders get to market quickly and affordably.

Based in San Diego, California, ModalAI spun out of Qualcomm® in 2018 and leverages more than five years of prior research and development in the drone and robotic markets. For more information visit http://www.modalai.com.

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Qualcomm® is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated.

ModalAI Serves as Distributor for Qualcomm’s World First 5G and AI-Enabled Drone Platform and Reference Design

ModalAI Serves as Distributor for Qualcomm’s World First 5G and AI-Enabled Drone Platform and Reference Design

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ModalAI today announced it will be the manufacturer and distributor of Qualcomm Technologies’ world first 5G and AI-enabled drone platform and reference design, the Qualcomm Flight™ RB5 5G Platform, available now for pre-order at ModalAI.com

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform is a development platform that developers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) can use to build drone and flight applications based on the Qualcomm® QRB5165 System-on-a-Chip (SoC). The QRB5165 SoC supports autonomous flight using 5G cellular technology and the 5th generation Qualcomm® Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine. See the drone design in action in this video

“As a global digital transformation leader, Qualcomm Technologies is committed to providing on-device intelligence and premium connectivity drone solutions that will unleash innovation across industries, helping to develop smaller, lighter and safer drones. We are pleased to work with ModalAI as our distributor to scale these solutions,” said Dev Singh, senior director, business development and general manager of autonomous robotics, drones and intelligent machines, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. 

“Autonomous flight on the 5G network is here now – extending the flight path of drones to increase the value of a broad set of inspection capabilities,” said Chad Sweet, CEO, ModalAI. “Better yet, the platform is open to everyone. Together, ModalAI and Qualcomm Technologies are advancing the adoption and commercialization of drone technology.” 

ModalAI worked with Qualcomm Technologies to design and develop the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform and reference design and will distribute and support it through its lifecycle with open-source software and applications. 

The technology packed onto the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform is purpose-built for autonomous drones, giving developers an easy-to-use platform to create premium drones right out of the box. With high computing and ultra-low power consumption and advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G drone reference design supports longer flight time and runs more applications simultaneously. 

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform and reference design includes an airframe, integrated circuit board with QRB5165 processor, powerful heterogenous computing at low-power with AI, 5G and long-range Wi-Fi 6 connectivity that delivers 15 TOPS and supports 7 camera concurrency. 

About ModalAI 

ModalAI accelerates autonomy by providing innovators with robot and drone perception and communications systems that are manufactured in the U.S.A. The company’s highly-integrated AI-powered modules empower a variety of industries to utilize aerial and ground autonomous navigation systems that communicate on 4G and 5G cellular networks. Offering both start-to-finish custom design services and plug-and-play computing platforms, ModalAI helps manufacturers and independent builders get to market quickly and affordably. 

Based in San Diego, California, ModalAI spun out of Qualcomm® in 2018 and leverages more than five years of prior research and development in the drone and robotic markets. For more information visit www.modalai.com

Qualcomm and Qualcomm Flight are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm Flight, Qualcomm AI Engine and Qualcomm QRB5165 are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. 

Contacts 

Grace Singh  

Portavoce PR for ModalAI  

760-479-5738  

Grace.Singh@PortavocePR.com 

Source: ModalAI