ModalAI, a provider of advanced autonomous systems, has revealed its latest creation, the Starling development drone. The Starling is hailed as the company's smallest and longest-flying drone to date, providing powerful computing and AI capability in a drone that fits in your palm.
The Starling has an impressive flight time of over 30 minutes. Weighing a mere 275 grams and featuring a compact 210mm airframe, the drone is lightweight and agile, making it well-suited for testing in tight spaces and dynamic environments.
Key to the Starling's performance is the VOXL 2, its onboard autonomous autopilot. With the Qualcomm QRB5165 at its core, boasting eight cores running at up to 3.091GHz and 8GB LPDDR5, the VOXL 2 delivers impressive compute power and processing speed. Additionally, the drone is equipped with an array of perception capabilities, including seven MIPI image sensor inputs capable of handling up to three stereo image sensor pairs, 4K30, and PMD ToF.
The Starling also incorporates an integrated flight controller on a DSP, complemented by the TDK ICM-42688 IMU and ICP-10111 Barometer, ensuring smooth and precise flight control, enhancing stability, and providing accurate data for autonomy algorithms.
The drone's advanced autonomy features further enhance its appeal as a development drone. Visual Inertial Odometry enables the Starling to navigate effectively in GPS-denied environments, while Visual Obstacle Avoidance ensures secure flight in confined spaces. Moreover, the drone's 3D Mapping and Path Planning capabilities offer hands-off flying in dynamic surroundings.
As the drone is targeting developers and researchers, ModalAI has made the Starling user-friendly with its VOXL SDK, providing an open-source platform that supports popular software frameworks like OpenCV, ROS 1 & 2, Docker, and PX4 integrated flight controller.
Built-in connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi and Express LRS R/C, facilitate seamless communication and control, making the Starling a versatile tool suitable for various applications.
ModalAI's Starling development drone is now available, offering a compelling and high-performance solution for various applications in the autonomous aerial vehicle industry.