Sony's Aerosense unveils enterprise drone prototype

The drone symbolizes Sony's shift from consumer to enterprise technology.

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Aerosense has given us footage of the first flight of a prototype drone developed for enterprise users.

On Monday, the Sony and ZMP joint venture uploaded a YouTube video revealing the first enterprise drone prototype's flight.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the drones are expected to carry items weighing up to 22 pounds, and fly for over two hours at a maximum speed of 106 miles per hour.

On 23 July, Sony and Japanese robotics firm ZMP announced plans to develop drone solutions for the enterprise. The companies jointly launched Aerosense for this purpose, of which Sony has marginal control. The joint venture's specialization is "image capture combined with cloud-based data processing" through unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.

While Sony provides camera and sensor technology, as well as a telecommunications network and robotics research, ZMP is contributing automated driving, autopilot technology and additional robotics expertise.

Drones have entered the consumer sphere in recent years, becoming a hot topic of interest for enthusiasts -- as well as regulators, who are considering what limits to impose on the flight activities of UAVs. Concerns have recently come to light due to a number of near-misses between drones and commercial planes.

See also: Endanger aircraft with your drone and enjoy time behind bars, UK demands

However, the enterprise also has its uses for UAVs. Drones can be used in land surveys, to enter places ravaged by accidents or natural disasters for rescue efforts or insurance purposes and deliveries, for example.

Sony and ZMP have seen the potential of enterprise-based drones in land surveys and hope to roll out the first full drones for sale in 2016.

Hisashi Taniguchi, CEO of Aerospace and ZMP commented:

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

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