The $50 million Series C funding, mainly from Qualcomm, provides the basis for a tacit partnership between Qualcomm and 3D Robotics with a goal of leveraging the pace of innovation in the smartphone industry and extending it to the world of 3DR.
The company plans to use the funding to expand their software and hardware products and intends to work with Qualcomm to further utilize that company’s Snapdragon processors, a platform designed for use with tablets and smartphones.
Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon processors, including sensors, wireless and computer vision, are considered to be ideal for developing advanced applications and driving increased performance for 3DR drones.
“By working with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., we can bring advanced computing to the skies at an increasing pace,” said Chris Anderson, CEO of 3DR. “Such multi-gigahertz Linux-based onboard computing platforms, combined with state-of-the-art cameras and other sensors and wireless technologies, will allow us to create next-gen drones that are smarter, easier and safer than ever before.”
The recent FAA-suggested regulations of the airspace, and the opening up of that space to commercial ventures, will expand 3DRs role in that emerging set of industries. With Qualcomm as a significant investor, 3DR becomes privy to smartphone technology and sensors that can help 3DR speed up research and development for the drone world.