Intel Acquires German Drone Maker Ascending Technologies

Intel this week has acquired German drone maker Ascending Technologies, following rival chipmaker Qualcomm’s move into the drone business. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company said that it will make job offers to the company’s 75 employees.

Intel is buying Ascending Technologies, which makes the smart Firefly drones that can see and sense the environment around them. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, demonstrated the drones last year at the company’s keynote speech at the 2015 International CES. The Firefly drones were able to sense humans and other objects and avoid collision on them.

In a blog post, Intel said it sees unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as an important computing platform of the future. That’s why the world’s biggest chipmaker is interested in them.

Josh Walden, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s New Technology Group, said in a statement: “With practical applications ranging from disaster response to infrastructure inspection to delivery of goods, UAVs offer an incredible opportunity for innovation across a multitude of industries,” and also added: “As a result, Intel is positioning itself at the forefront of this opportunity to increasingly integrate the computing, communications, sensor, and cloud technology required to make drones smarter and more connected.”

Ascending Technologies is a Krailling, Germany-based drone company that has best-in-class drone auto-pilot software and algorithms, which gives the drones a sense-and-avoid system. The company uses Intel’s RealSense technology to power its collision avoidance systems. 

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