Sony on Monday unveiled a drone prototype which looks exactly like a miniature airplane and is capable of taking off and landing vertically.
The drone is the product of Aerosense, a joint venture by Sony and Japanese robotics firm ZMP, which specializes in autopilot technology. The venture is part of Sony’s efforts to expand beyond its core consumer products into enterprise markets. The drone uses Sony’s imaging, sensing and networking technology and ZMP’s robotics expertise fly.
The drone is capable of carrying up to 22 pounds (10 kilograms) and fly continuously for 22 hours at a speed of 106 miles per hour.
The machine will be mainly used for aerial surveillance and mapping purposes as well as for measuring, surveying, observing, and inspecting large areas otherwise difficult to access by humans. It is also going to be an automated drone that will just follow input for its destinations.
Hisashi Taniguchi, CEO of Aerospace and ZMP said that by making it automated, drones will be considerably safer because many of accidents today are caused by human errors.
The Sony and ZMP joint venture on Monday uploaded a YouTube video revealing the first enterprise drone prototype’s flight. The video shows the first two drone prototypes the AS-DTO1-E and the AS-MCOP-1 in action.
The first service from Aerosense is expected to make its way to consumers by 2016.