World’s First 5G & AI-Enabled Industrial Drone Platform Unveiled

By Phoebe Grinter / 19 Aug 2021

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has unveiled the world’s first drone platform and reference design to offer both 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-capabilities.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform will help to accelerate development for commercial, enterprise, and industrial 5G drones, and to unleash innovative possibilities for industries looking to adopt drone solutions and realize the benefits of the intelligent edge. 


Powered by the Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform builds upon Qualcomm’s Internet of Things offerings, delivering a solution which will drive the next generation of high-performance, low-power, 5G drones.

“We have continued to engage many leading drone companies, enabling 200+ global robotics and drone ecosystem members in addition to consistently driving and promoting worldwide drone standardization and transformative 5G capabilities in organizations such as 3GPP, GSMA, the Global UTM Alliance, the Aerial Connectivity Joint Initiative (ACJA) and ASTM,” said Dev Singh, senior director, business development and general manager of autonomous robotics, drones and intelligent machines, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. 

“We are proud to continue our momentum of enabling the digital transformation of global industries by unveiling the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform, a solution that is purpose-built for drone development with enhanced autonomy and intelligence features, bringing premium connected flight capabilities to industrial, enterprise and commercial segments.”

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform condenses multiple complex technologies into one tightly integrated drone system to support evolving applications and new use cases in sectors including film and entertainment, security and emergency response, delivery, defense, inspection, and mapping.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform’s high-performance and heterogeneous computing at ultra-low power consumption provides power efficient inferencing at the edge for AI and Machine Learning (ML) enabling fully autonomous drones. In addition, breakthrough camera capabilities deliver premium image capabilities and performance. 

With 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, this platform enhances critical flying abilities Beyond Visual Line-Of-Sight (BVLOS) to support safer, more reliable flight. The platform is equipped with a Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit to support modern drone demands for cybersecurity protections as a key enabler of data-protection and safety requirements.  

Qualcomm Technologies is working with Verizon to complete network testing of the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform for the Verizon 5G network.

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Posted by Phoebe Grinter Unmanned Systems Technology’s digital editor and copywriter Phoebe takes a fresh and enthusiastic approach to researching, writing and posting the latest unmanned technology updates, and in managing the UST social channels. Connect & Contact