Role of AI and 5G in Drone Technology
Aug 9, 2022
Role of AI and 5G in Drone Technology

Drones are one of the amazing creations and instruments that technology has provided us. Since their debut in 2007, drones have gained popularity, often referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in technical parlance. Initially, manual and remote controls were used to operate these devices. Artificial intelligence, which automates some or all activities, is increasingly routinely used in drones.

The ability to take photos and videos from the air while standing still made drones originally popular among photographers. But soon, they were being used to gather information to better comprehend crime scenes and weather trends.


As artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and the availability of low-cost drones grow, it is more critical than ever to maintain ongoing communication and efficiency. A drone must also be able to fly outside the pilot's line of sight and go longer distances without human assistance.

In this article, we will look at drone technology and how artificial intelligence is being utilized to improve drones.

What Are Drones?

Civilians refer to drones as "unmanned aerial vehicles," and often consider them as a weapon or tools used by military people. They are, however, now available to the general public for videography, surveillance, traffic monitoring, weather monitoring, agricultural, and other purposes. Drones do not have a vast storage capacity, but they do have adequate space to deliver important goods to humans.

Drones can travel long distances from a remote point. It may be in space, in disaster areas, in the Arctic, or just outside your front door. As a consequence, the extremeness of the site is immaterial because they can reach almost everywhere. They are safe and function admirably. Drones are remote-controlled since they are robots.

What Role Does Artificial Intelligence Play in Drone Development?

This fast-developing drone technology's integration with advances in AI and autonomy, as well as 5G and long-range Wi-Fi communication, is a significant accomplishment that has gone unnoticed. The "Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform," the first drone platform in the world with 5G and AI capabilities, was developed by Qualcomm.

Drone Development using 5G

5G is seen as a game changer in drone development. Networks like 4G LTE and 5G enable safe, trustworthy autonomous drone operation outside the visual line of sight due to wide-area, high-speed, secure wireless network coverage from major wireless service providers available practically wherever a drone may travel.

5G connection is not just the present and future of connectivity; it also allows for large-scale drone deployment for mission-critical drone applications such as search and rescue, air traffic control, and 360-degree virtual reality video recording. Drones with artificial intelligence have increased perceptual skills and can transmit data in real-time, which is critical when seconds count. Knowing what is happening and when it will happen, whether a drone is dropping medical supplies or delivering food or presents, might save lives.

Where traditional ways have failed, AI will provide the spark to address major wireless challenges. It is widely assumed that AI will greatly impact a wide range of critical 5G use cases, including higher service quality, simpler deployment, increased network efficiency, and improved network security. 5G's low latency and large capacity, on the other hand, will allow AI processing to be distributed across devices, edge cloud, and central cloud, providing flexible system solutions for a variety of new and improved experiences. This adaptive wireless edge architecture provides performance and costs trade-offs to determine workload distribution to suit a given application's latency or computing demands.

How to Create a 5G Drone with Artificial Intelligence?

The following things are required for the creation of a drone:
  • A virtual private network (VPN) is necessary for security and multi-device networking.

  • Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) aids in orienting the drone to its ever-changing environment, as do deep learning object identification and integrated depth sensing in building mission pathways and avoiding obstacles.

  • To determine device location, use visual-inertial odometry (VIO).

  • To facilitate development, flexible software architecture is used.

  • Several image sensors are provided for simultaneous 4K video capture, streaming, and computer vision processing.

  • A lightweight, cost-effective, plug-and-play device with significant computational capacity on a single printed circuit board (PCB).

Drone Applications Using Artificial Intelligence

Here are four important artificial intelligence-based initiatives that make use of drone technology for a variety of purposes:

  1. Automatic Flying Machines:

For obvious reasons, computer vision is a widely disputed artificial intelligence topic in the drone market. To begin, numerous manufacturers already use powerful computer vision to keep drone pilots safe: for example, certain DJI drones can recognize an item and automatically figure out how to avoid it.

Further developments in computer vision and risk awareness are necessary for many of the more sophisticated drone applications, which is why there has been a lot of research and development in this field.

AlphaPilot, a drone racing competition with a twist, is one noteworthy project showcasing accomplishments in this field. The Drone Racing League (DRL), which Lockheed Martin supports, is in charge of planning the event.

  1. Easy Surveillance:

A number of surveillance tools may be installed on drones to capture HD video and still images at all hours of the day and night. A wide variety of surveying tools, such as lidar scanners, multi- and hyperspectral sensors, and many more, may be used with little effort and expense seven days a week due to the high payload compatibility.

Drone surveillance allows you to gather information about a target from a safe distance or height while staying undiscovered. Drone surveillance enables the stealth collecting of information about a target from a safe distance or height.

In actuality, drone use in this large industry (or sector) extends much beyond these simple and straightforward boundaries. Drone technology is employed by government officials, police officers, and other security personnel. Automated monitoring will become increasingly common as companies and researchers develop new ways to use machine learning to assess live video footage.

A recent experiment was done by academics in the United Kingdom and India, for example, reveals one potential application for this technology: utilizing camera-equipped drones to identify violent behaviour in crowds. It makes use of a low-cost Parrot AR quadcopter to transmit video footage for real-time analysis over a mobile internet connection. A deep learning algorithm estimates the stances of people in the film and connects them to "violent" postures determined by the researchers. The project only includes five positions: strangling, punching, kicking, shooting, and stabbing.

  1. Heritage Protection:

Many people face risks from looting, urbanization, mass tourism, violence, and climate change. As a result, their preservation has become a global priority. After all, they are the birthplaces of civilizations.

The purpose is to preserve and protect world history, but the approach is cutting-edge. Iconem combines drones, innovative modelling techniques, and cloud computing. As a result, historians, restorers, and the general public may now view very realistic and immersive depictions of significant historical locations. Among other things, Iconem has worked on restoration projects, displays, and virtual reality experiences.

  1. Accurate Weather Forecast:

Drones, admittedly, fall short of satellite images in terms of predicting severe weather events. Nonetheless, they are capable of providing critical assistance in the case of a disaster. Government agencies and insurers are becoming increasingly aware of the idea of using them to estimate post-disaster damages, particularly in areas where people have not been approved as safe to enter.

Weather drones may collect important data on temperature, moisture, air pressure, and wind speed and direction by flying through the whole vertical layer of the atmosphere's boundary layer.

Whether drones can acquire this data in a variety of methods. One option is to attach the drone's temperature, humidity, and air pressure sensors. Another method is to drop sensors known as dropsondes from a high altitude using a parachute. As the dropsondes fall through the vertical profile of the boundary layer, they collect data. Another important way for weather drones to collect data is through visual imaging, such as photos and video.


In the technological sector, artificial intelligence (AI) essentially serves as a useful tool. When used in a subtle way, a 5G network is unquestionably beneficial for the advancement of drone technology. Engineers that are proactive rely on these developments to largely increase the capabilities and applications of drones, enhancing their subtle intelligence, safety, and general capability.