Intrinsyc Qualcomm Flight Pro Development Kit Targets High-end Drones and Robotics

Orange Pi Development Boards

Intrinsyc is known for manufacturing and selling mobile  development platforms (MDP) & hardware development kits (HDK) for Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, but this time the company is taking pre-orders for a slightly different Qualcomm development platform: Qualcomm Flight Pro development kit / reference design that targets the development of high-end drones and robotics projects.

 

Qualcomm Flight Pro Development KitQualcomm Flight Pro board specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (APQ8096) with quad core Kryo processor @ up to 2.15GHz, Adreno 530 GPU, and Hexagon 680 DSP
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Storage – 32GB UFS Flash storage, microSD card slot
  • Wireless Connectivity – WiFi 5 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4/5.0 GHz 2×2 MU-MIMO + Bluetooth 4.2 via pre-certified QCA6174A module  + 2x Wi-Fi/BT antennas
  • Location Technology
    • Integrated GNSS solution based on WGR7640 (not recommended for flight applications)
    • Support for U-blox MAX-M8Q-0-00 external GNSS module with high performance antenna and shielding
  • Sensors – Dual IMU (2x Invensense MPU9250): Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass + Barometric pressure sensor (Bosch BMP280)
  • Cameras
    • 1x high resolution camera with 13MP IMX214 sensor in KLT Module, 4K at 30 fps
    • 1x downward facing camera with OV7251 sensor in Sunny MD102A module – B & W VGA Sensor
    • 2x forward stereo-vision cameras with OV7251 sensor in Sunny GP161C module – B & W VGA Sensor
  • Expansion
    • I2C and UART interfaces
    • Motor-control I/O – DSP sensor-core interface to Electronic Speed Control board (ESC board sold separately)
    • Radio control I/O – dedicated interface for Spektrum radio control transceiver
  • Debugging – Micro-USB 3.0 interface, debug UART on expansion header
    Software
  • Misc – Red and green status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5.0V @ 4A via Vin, on-board Qualcomm power management solution (PM8996, PMI8996)
  • Dimensions – 75x36mm PCA mounted in plastic housing with four cameras and Wi-Fi/BT antennas installed; mechanically compatible with third-party drone airframe
  • Temperature Range – -10°C to +70°C
Flight Pro Development Board
Flight Pro Development Board – Click to Enlarge

The company provides a Linux BSP apparently based on Yocto  2.0 Jethro, and Linux 3.4 that is compatible with Qualcomm Machine Vision and Navigator SDKs. The board also works with the Robot Operating System (ROS), and supports application development through SDK and Docker container. Links to software and hardware resources, as well as a support forum can be found on a dedicated page in Qualcomm Developer Network.

The Qualcomm Flight Pro development kit can be pre-ordered for $949, and will come with Flight Pro development board, a serial console adapter, a power adapter, a power adapter board, and a USB cable. You’ll still need to procure motor controller, motors and propeller separately, which you could do by getting WORLD Electronics’ Dragon Drone Development Kit ($369), as well as the required Qualcomm Electronic Speed Control (ESC) board ($144). That means the total cost for a working drone based on the solution is closer to $1,500 once you also add the battery. You may visit the product page for further details.

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willy
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willy

Linux 3.4 is long dead and buried, which proves that the software in this kit isn’t maintained at all and/or that the BSP is so much crippled that they don’t know how to port it to a maintained kernel. At this price you don’t want to face known old bugs that the vendor doesn’t care about fixing!

dgp
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dgp

Smells like old Android kernel with a bunch of awful vendor drivers that have zero chance of being mainlined.

tkaiser
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tkaiser

Isn’t this stuff that could be forward ported to a newer ‘vendor kernel’ release?

Just checked with my neighbor: his OnePlus 3 runs with 3.18.40 so at least a newer vendor kernel for Snapdragon 820 seems to exist (though outdated as hell since 3.18LTS when going EOL few days ago was already at 3.18.130 — but I guess that’s usual with Android devices and nobody really cares)

dgp
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dgp

>Isn’t this stuff that could be forward ported to a newer ‘vendor kernel’ release?

Porting to another 3.x release is probably doable especially if it contains the same vendor hacks to other parts of the kernel. You’d still have an old kernel though.

Roger Melly
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Roger Melly

And if you do buy one, be socially responsible and do NOT fly it near an airport.