According to new reports, Sony's joint drone venture - Aerosense - is producing and testing prototypes.
Last month, Sony Mobile and ZMP announced plans to establish Aerosense as a joint venture for "enterprise solutions using autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles for image capture combined with cloud-based data processing." The company was slated to be incorporated in early August and now, Aersosense has unveiled prototypes. Over the weekend, Aerosense posted YouTube videos demonstrating its two new prototypes: the AS-DTO1-E `experimental machine' and the AS-MCO1-P prototype. The DTO1-E looks like a miniature airplane and can reach a top speed of 106 mph, more than twice as fast as other commercial drones. The airplane-shaped drones take off and land vertically and are expected to be able to carry up to 22 pounds and fly for more than 2 hours at max speed. The MCO1-P is a quadcopter drone and is much smaller and lighter than the DTO1-E. The quadcopter is equipped with a camera, GPS, and navigation system. It is unclear if the DTO1-E is also equipped with the same features or if the two drones will serve similar or different functions.
Unlike most companies looking into drone technology, Aerosense will target enterprise customers, at least at first. Aerosense will be based in Tokyo and hopes to start rolling out services early next year. Sony's joint drone venture will offer a package of drone flights and cloud-based processing of visual data, though pricing has yet to be revealed at this time. Aerosense is expected to be more flexible and affordable than traditional methods of aerial surveillance.
Photo: © Sony.