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August 25, 2015

Sony unveils commercial drone prototypes

Aerosence to target commercial customers.

By CBR Staff Writer

Sony has released videos of two prototypes of its commercial drones, the AS-DTO1-E ‘experimental machine’ and the AS-MCO1-P prototype.

Last month, the company partnered with Tokyo-based robotics firm ZMP to establish a joint venture, dubbed Aerosense, for creating commercial drones.

The drones will be used to survey and examine areas that are difficult to access. Sony is said to be targeting enterprise customers for the product.

To be piloted automatically based on inputs from users, the drone has payload capacity of up to 22 pounds. It can fly for over two hours at a maximum speed of 106 miles per hour.

The DTO1-E is like a miniature airplane and has the capability to take off and land vertically.

The smaller and lighter AS-MCO1-P is a quad-copter that features a camera, GPS, and navigation system.

Both the drones are expected to be rolled out in the first half of next year.

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Aerospace and ZMP CEO Hisashi Taniguchi was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that the company is targeting Y10 billion ($82.6 million) in revenue by 2020.

"By making it automated, drones will be considerably safer because many of accidents today are caused by human errors."

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