Lantronix Wi-Fi chip powers mini drone relay

January 13, 2015 OpenSystems Media

In the unmanned system section of the show I ran into some embedded technology, but maybe not in the way you’d expect. I found that a small UAV called ZANO integrates a smaller (24 mm x 16.5 mm) Wi-Fi chip from networking company Lantronix that can simultaneously act as both access point and client. This allows ZANO drones, which are controlled via smartphone, to connect to the network and other devices at the same time, essentially allowing the drone (or a fleet of drones) to be passed from one smartphone controller to another in somewhat of a relay (for lack of a better word), if the operator(s) so desire(s).

Keith Chu of Lantronix helped me run through some of the additional features of the xPico Wi-Fi chip, such as low power consumption, minimal programming, and 256-bit AES encryption. The modules have been on the market since 2013 and have seen deployment in a number of M2M applications, including industrial automation/control.

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Brandon Lewis, Technology Editor
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