November 2, 2021
ModalAI has announced the release of two products to help developers create smaller, smarter and safer robots and drones. The VOXL CAM perception engine and the Seeker micro-development drone are optimized for the development of indoor and outdoor autonomous navigation. The companies are now available for sale at the ModalAI website.
The VOXL Cam is an all-in-one compute and perception engine that makes it easier to create smaller, safer and smarter drones, robots and Internet of Things (IoT) devices with GPS-denied navigation, depth mapping, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flight control and cellular connectivity. The credit-card-sized VOXL CAM powers the Seeker micro-development drone, the company’s newest and smallest drone to date.
Build on the foundation of the VOXL Flight Deck, the VOXL CAM is a single printed circuit board (PCB) that easily attaches to robots, drones or IoT devices to activate autonomy, the company said.
“The VOXL CAM platform provides smarter perception and safer navigation for autonomous devices beyond drones,” said Chad Sweet, CEO of ModalAI. “For commercial and industrial developers and researchers who want powerful perception and autonomy, the VOXL CAM’s small form factor and modularity make it easy to mount onto drones, robots and wearable IoT devices. It condenses the computing power of seven PCBs and four concurrent image sensors into one compact, modular platform.”
The perception engine includes four image sensor concurrencies onboard, including time of flight (ToF) for indoor depth mapping; stereo pair image sensors for outdoor depth mapping; and a tracking image sensor for Visual-Inertial Odometry (VIO) localization. The system pre-integrates a PX4 drone flight controller, ModalAI’s Flight Core, as well as three onboard IMUs and a barometer for controlling flight height.
The Seeker micro-development drone includes enhanced visual capabilities, making it optimal for drones to safely and autonomously navigate tight spaces indoors and outdoors. The base weight is just 57.5 grams, and 87 grams with the flight controller and modem installed. The drone can also operate on a 4G cellular network, depending on the configuration.
“The Seeker drone is the smallest reference drone ModalAI has designed to date,” said Sweet. “It’s a true micro-drone with powerful computing in a small form factor, perfect for navigating GPS-denied, tight spaces that people can’t reach. Its micro-design unlocks a plethora of use cases for developers, ranging from asset inspection to mission-critical applications.”
Both products are built on Blue UAS Framework components VOXL Flight and Flight Core. The perception engine starts at $999.999, and the Seeker micro-development drone starts at $2,999.