Intel’s presence at this year’s 2017 Xponential show (see “Intel Takes to the Air at Xponential 2017”) was significant, including CEO Brian Krzanich as the keynote speaker. The company has been active in buying up and partnering with a number of vendors in this space, and tying them in with other major investments such as augmented and virtual reality as well as artificial intelligence (see “Intel Buys Chip Startup Movidius, Betting on Machines That See and Think”).
Intel has highlighted its “Shooting Stars” multi-drone technology at events like Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show (Fig. 1), where 300 drones put on an impressive light show. In other events, it’s had up to 500 drones operating in coordination with each other.
The company’s venture capital arm, Intel Capital, includes investments in Airware, PrecisionHawk, Yuneec, and E-Volo. E-Volo’s Volocopter 2X is a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft powered purely by electricity and capable of carrying two passengers (Fig. 2). PrecisionHawk brings a collection of analytics, tracking, and mapping software that’s key in the commercialization of drones. Airware delivers database and management solutions for aerial devices.