Mistral's MRD5165 Eagle Kit Packs a Powerful Compute Bundle for Advanced Autonomous Aerial Robots

Designed to put edge AI and machine learning in the air, this compact kit delivers impressive compute and flight control capabilities.

Technology design and systems engineering firm Mistral has launched a development platform for building cutting-edge autonomous aerial robots, using a Qualcomm QRB5165 to drive a Cube Pilot CubeOrange+ flight controller: the MRD5165 Eagle Kit.

"The MRD5165 Eagle Kit from Mistral is an advanced aerial robot controller built around Qualcomm QRB5165 SoC [System-on-Chip] and Cube Pilot CubeOrange+ FCU [Flight Controller Unit]," the company explains of its design. "The MRD5165 Eagle Kit is designed for advanced, low-power edge/IoT [Internet of Things]-enabled autonomous systems."

"The MRD5165 Eagle Kit," the company continues, "brings powerful technologies in a highly integrated, modular form-factor that power the next generation of high-compute, AI-enabled, low power autonomous robots for consumer, enterprise, defense, industrial and professional service sectors."

Brought to our attention by Linux Gizmos, the Eagle Kit's Qualcomm QRB5165 SoC gives it an eight-core 64-bit Kryo 585 Arm-based processor running at 2.84GHz, an Adreno 650 graphics processor, a Hexagon 698 Tensor Accelerator capable of 15 tera-operations per second (TOPS) of on-device edge artificial intelligence compute, and a Spectra 480 image processing unit, with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage. In short, it's a beast β€” while a Cube Pilot CubeOrange+ delivers the flight control systems separately to the compute hardware.

The kit supports up to six cameras, the company claims, with the Qualcomm QRB5165 delivering enough performance for on-device computer vision and machine learning applications β€” including full autonomous control, if desired, using visual simultaneous localization and mapping (VSLAM) for precise positioning and on-board sensors including an inertial measurement unit (IMU), dedicated magnetometer, and barometer. The software stack, meanwhile, is built on Ubuntu Linux and the Robot Operating System (ROS).

The Eagle Kit is now available to order from Mistral for $1,498; shipping is expected to begin late February 2024, the company has confirmed.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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