The Strategist

Sony Develops UAV for Business

08/26/2015 - 14:50

Sony continues to experiment with fashion trends. Having created a VR-helmet Morpheus and announced a fitness bracelet based on e-ink, the Japanese company has reached the drones. Together with manufacturers of robotic equipment, Sony has created an autopilot drone for business.

Ian Muttoo via flickr
Ian Muttoo via flickr
Sony managed to create an original design that combines the distinctive features and strengths of helicopter and airplane in a single device. By joining forces with the Tokyo player ZMP, specializing in manufacturing robots, Sony, in a joint venture Aerosense, was able to recreate the principle of operation of a vertical takeoff aircraft, like the Yak-141 or F-35. The drone is able to take off without a run and accelerate to speeds of over 170 km / h. It is also able to carry loads weighing more than 10 kg.

Until now, freight civilian drones flew slowly, so that Aerosense’s solution can please those customers who want to organize a system using drones for urgent delivery. Another plus is full automation of the flight, which does not require the control of the operator. The manufacturer claim that this is safer, as the majority of incidents involving UAVs is obliged to the human factor. Note also that the operating time is up to two hours, even with the cargo.

The drone was ready to fly in July, and this week it has been shown to journalists. The device will come to the market next year, but will not be freely distributed. Sony has decided to sell the UAV only to business representatives, what alludes to its high cost and certain complexity in tuning. Yet, Aerosense do not reject the possibility of creating the device’s new versions for the mass consumer market.

Aerosense sells not only the drone, but also a package of services, which includes inspection of flight paths and repair. Apparently, for this reason, the drone so far is designed for companies with a large amount of available funds. By 2020, the annual income of the Japanese joint venture is expected to reach $ 83 million.

US regulators have not yet approved a law allowing the use of drones for commercial purposes. Not only Sony expects relevant decisions, but also, for example, Amazon, which is hoping to organize a system of goods delivery by air. Officials say that they are actively working on liberalization of the legislation.

An excellent example of the use of drones is the story of the summer, when medical supplies were urgently delivered in America. With drones, which flight has been specifically agreed with the regulator, delivery cargo took only 20 minutes, while the car passes the same distance on a winding road in 90 minutes.

Previously, Sony Mobile, and ZMP argued that Aerosense will specialize in aerial photography and cloud computing for measurement, surveying, observing the work and monitor different objects for corporate clients. Aerosense’s drones can be used for surveying remote mountainous areas or photographing the area before the construction of high-rise buildings.