Watch Sony test their prototype mini-airplane droneBy Tim Schiesser
Sony has teamed up with Japanese robotics company ZMP Inc to form Aerosense, a company focused on building drones for surveying and inspecting difficult-to-access areas. Aerosense already has two working drone prototypes, the imaginatively named AS-DTO1-E and AS-MCO1-P, and they're ready to show them off to the public.
The DTO1-E is a small drone shaped like an airplane, featuring a central rotor that can rotate to be either horizontal or vertical, allowing the drone to take off vertically and then fly at up to 170 km/h (106 mph). The drone is also capable of carrying a load of up to 10 kg (22 lbs), with a maximum flight time of over two hours.
The other drone Aerosense has developed, the MCO1-P seen below, is a smaller and lighter quadrocopter, equipped with a camera and navigation system. This particular drone features Sony's TransferJet technology, which uploads images taken by the drone's camera quickly and efficiently.
Both drones are still prototypes at this stage, but Aerosense hopes to start rolling out their various services at some point next year.