Intel bets over $60m on future drone development

The PC maker believes a new partnership with Yuneec will result in "game changing" drones.

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Intel has announced plans to develop drones through a partnership with aviation firm Yuneec.

On Wednesday, Intel said the firm will invest over $60 million in drone development under the terms of the deal. While details are thin on the ground, it is likely the partnership has been inked in order to give Intel another potential future revenue stream away from the declining PC market.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal, investments in emerging technology are part of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's plans to take the firm away from PC components and into the realm of next-generation technologies.

Founded in 1999, Hong Kong-based Yuneec is an electric aviation company which specializes in airplanes, helicopter and micro-copters powered by electricity. The company is known for products including the single-seat electric E-Spyder aircraft and the Typhoon multi-copter series.

Launched in 2014, the Typhoon Q500 quadcopter is an out-of-the-box Android-based drone sporting a 1080p camera, a 3 Axis gimbal and 5.8GHz long distance real-time digital video link, together with a 2.4GHz radio control transmitter.

The latest version of the Typhoon was launched earlier this year with camera and video capture improvements.

The partnership between Intel and Yuneec combines Intel's investment and Yuneec's experience in the drone industry, together with the Hong Kong-based firm's hundreds of filed patents. It is possible that Intel chips may one day be used to power Yuneec designs.

Drones, otherwise known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have many practical applications in business. Beyond enthusiasts and the consumer realm, drones can be used for tasks such as land surveys, deliveries and venturing into areas struck by natural disasters.

Krzanich called the deal a "game changer," commenting:

"We've got drones on our roadmap which will truly change the world and revolutionize the drone industry."

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