Qualcomm’s 5G Reference Drone Shows Companies How to Design the Future

A man holding the Qualcomm reference drone.
Qualcomm

Qualcomm is a leading force behind NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Helicopter, and the company now hopes to accelerate drone development on Earth. Its RB5 5G robotics division just unveiled the new Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G drone, a reference product made to inspire businesses and advertise the capabilities of Qualcomm’s technology.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G drone is an advanced product with a high-performance QRB5165 processor, stabilized 8K 30FPS and 4K 120HZ cameras (with HDR), and support for both 5G and Wi-Fi 6. These wireless protocols drive the drone’s 8-kilometer line of sight, cutting-edge obstacle avoidance system, and “Follow Me” protocol for drone swarms and other applications.

Advanced wireless communication tools also help support Qualcomm’s vision of the future—a drone-based Internet of Things (IoT) that’s constantly fulfilling tasks, scanning the landscape, and aggregating data. Businesses, individuals, and governments may benefit from such a future, though the consequences (beyond privacy concerns) are still unclear.

Pre-orders for the $5,000 5G reference drone (along with a $4,000 non-5G model) are open now, though you have to put down a $1,000 deposit. Qualcomm says units will ship later this fall, and the company plans to sell a stripped-down drone development kit sometime in Q4 of 2021.

Qualcomm 5G Reference Drone

Got $5,000? You can buy Qualcomm’s cutting-edge 5G reference drone with all its fancy wireless features and 8K HDR recording support. Oh, Qualcomm also wants a $1,000 deposit. Sorry!

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support Review Geek.