New Compact Blue UAS Framework Autopilot Released 

At only 16g, ModalAI’s VOXL 2 is the smallest single-board autopilot available with premium tier processing from the Qualcomm QRB5165, a PX4 flight controller, onboard AI of 15 TOPS, and 5G connectivity By Phoebe Grinter / 25 Apr 2022
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ModalAI, Inc, a Blue UAS Framework manufacturer of autonomous drone and robot technology, has announced the availability of the VOXL 2 autopilot, powered by the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G platform. 

Weighing just 16 grams, VOXL 2 boasts more Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing than any other autopilot currently available. VOXL 2 integrates a PX4 real-time flight controller with an 8-core CPU up to 15 TOPs, seven image sensors, TDK IMUs and barometer, 5G connectivity and is assembled in the USA. 

The new computing platform accelerates the development of commercial drone and robot solutions to realize the benefits of autonomous AI and 5G. It enables autonomy and communications for indoor and outdoor drones and robots with vision-based SLAM and AI for movement, designed specifically for GPS-denied, autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with obstacle avoidance. With a 5G add-on, VOXL 2 enhances mission critical navigation, including Beyond Visual Line-Of-Sight (BVLOS) to support safer, more reliable flight. 

“VOXL 2 creates a major leap in computing capability for the UAS industry,” said Chad Sweet, CEO and co-founder of ModalAI, Inc. “From developing the first Blue UAS Framework autopilot, VOXL, to unlocking 5G skies with the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform, this launch is an important milestone to enable the next generation of smaller, smarter, and safer drones.”

VOXL 2 is the outcome of the Blue sUAS 2.0 initiative started by the US Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and is FY20 NDAA Section 848-compliant. VOXL 2 addresses supply chain concerns around unreliable, unsecure components from foreign manufacturers. 

“As Qualcomm Technologies diversifies with new opportunities powering the connected intelligent edge, we are committed to providing on-device intelligence and premium connectivity drone solutions that will unleash innovation across industries,” said Dev Singh, senior director of business development and general manager of robotics, drones and intelligent machines at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are proud to collaborate with ModalAI to scale our industry leading solutions and congratulate the team on the launch of the VOXL 2, which will continue to support innovation across robotics and drones.”

VOXL 2 was created with accessibility in mind. In addition to partnering with the DoD, ModalAI serves developers and researchers all over the world, with over a dozen partners already integrating VOXL 2 in their newest drone and robot fleets. 

“As autonomy in drones and robotics becomes standardized, it is necessary to have the highest performing sensor technology to increase accuracy and stability over time,” said Anson Yeganegi, Sr. “Inclusion of TDK’s sensors and drivers on the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G platform brings the world’s most accurate and highest performing MEMS IMUs and Pressure technology alongside Qualcomm Technologies industry leading QRB5165 solutions to drive ModalAI’s VOXL 2 autopilot to the forefront for innovation and technology advancement.” 

“ModalAI is unlocking the barriers for advanced robotics workflows with the VOXL 2,” said Ramón Roche, Program Manager, Dronecode Foundation. “The PX4 Autopilot runs natively on the QRB5165 at the heart of the VOXL 2, enabling adopters with vast flexibility from a feature-rich open source stack.”

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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