Intel goes deeper into drones with AscTec deal

Image: AscTec Firefly
Ascending Technologies’ Firefly drone is a showcase for Intel’s RealSense technology. (Intel photo)

Intel says it’s acquiring Ascending Technologies, its German partner in the drone business, in a deal that demonstrates how quickly robotic aerial vehicles are becoming an important computing platform.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Intel’s Josh Walden said the move is part of his company’s effort to “integrate the computing, communications, sensor and cloud technology required to make drones smarter and more connected.”

Ascending Technologies’ drones have long been a showcase for Intel’s RealSense control technology, earning them kudos at last year’s International CES show. Walden said the Ascending Technologies team would continue supporting their current customers while collaborating with Intel engineers to develop drones that can fly “with more awareness of their environments.”

The terms of the deal were not announced. Ascending Technologies is based in Krailling, near Munich, and has about 75 employees who will now be asked to join Intel. To celebrate the acquisition, AscTec programmed an LED-equipped droneto write the message “Happy to Join” … followed by the Intel logo.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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