Sony announced last month that it was teaming up with ZMP Inc, a Tokyo-based robotics company, to create commercial drones. The company, called Aerosense, will use drones to survey and inspect areas that are difficult to access. Yesterday, it unveiled videos of two prototypes, the AS-DTO1-E ‘experimental machine’ and the AS-MCO1-P prototype.
The DTO1-E looks like a miniature airplane but will be able to take off and land vertically. According to Aerosense the drone will be able to carry objects up to 22 pounds, and fly for more than two hours at a maximum speed of about 106 miles per hour.
The AS-MCO1-P is a quadcopter, and is much smaller and lighter. It's also been loaded up with a camera, GPS, and navigation system; Aerosense doesn't make clear whether the DTO1-E is equipped with the same features, or whether the two drones will serve different functions.
Everyone’s been getting into the drone business lately — companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google are all testing drones delivery, and just last week Virginia Tech conducted a FAA-authorized test to deliver medicine via drone. But Sony plans to target enterprise customers, at least for now, implementing its camera, telecommunication, and robotic technologies to capture aerial imagery that can be processed in the cloud.
Aerosense will be based in Tokyo and aims to roll out services starting early next year.