Silicon valley giant Intel has acquired German drone company MAVinci, for an undisclosed price. At this week’s Commercial UAV Expo, Anil Nanduri, Vice President of the New Technology Group and General Manager of the UAV segment at Intel, said that the acquisition gives Intel a “full portfolio” of fixed-wing and multi-rotor solutions for the commercial drone market. Nanduri says that MAVinci’s terrain and flight planning software is an important acquisition for the company.
Intel has invested heavily in drones, acquiring multiple companies and becoming major investors in Chinese consumer and prosumer drone manufacturer Yuneec; CEO Brian Krzanich is the chairperson of the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC.) In a keynote address at the conference, Nanduri said that Intel’s strategy is based on creating a virtuous cycle of demand for their core products. Drone business offers a high growth platform using computing power, sensors, communications and cloud integration. Intel’s Aero drone development platform, RealSense camera technology, and compute solutions all find a market in the drone industry.
MAVinci is a 20 person German company is based in St. Leon-Rot, Germany, and provides a fixed wing drone solution for industrial and commercial use, primarily in construction and inspections. MAVinci’s software solution is mission planning software, which Nanduri calls “best-in-class.” Called the MAVinci Desktop, the system allows a drone operator to select the desired flight area, and then plans the best route automatically – adjusting altitude based on an elevation model and validating flight plans for safety based on terrain models and regulatory information. The system then transmits the flight plan wirelessly to the drone. The plan can be adjusted and updated during the operation. Desktop also offers post-flight previews and production capabilities.
With the earlier acquisition of Ascending Technologies, Intel now offers a suite of commercial solutions for agriculture, construction, mining, and other applications.