Sony Gets Its Mobile Division Working On Drones

Aerosense drones will combine Sony camera technology and ZMP robotics

Sony is making members of its under performing mobile division develop drones as part of a new intelligent robotics company.

Named Aerosense, the new company is made up of workers from Sony Mobile and ZMP, a robotics company that Sony previously invested in last year, and has an initial capital investment of 100 million yen (£517,000).

Sony says that the new unit will now look into developing drones that can use image capture to benefit businesses and consumers, with its first products rolling out next year.


sony ©Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.comZMP has already developed autonomous driving technology in the past, but the new Aerosense partnership will see it take its technology to the sky for the first time.

For its part, Sony, which is the majority shareholder will contribute its camera, sensing, telecommunications network, and robotics technologies to Aerosense.

“Sony Mobile is proactively engaging in new business creation initiatives, with a particular focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) sector,” the company said in a statement. “This joint venture represents a part of this push into IoT, as Sony strives to provide its customers with additional value by developing and managing total package cloud solutions.”

The news marks Sony as the latest big-name technology company to invest into drone technology. Previous entrants include Nokia Networks, which earlier this month announced a scheme to show that drones carrying smartphones equipped with network testing applications can be used to test the network performance, run network optimisation actions, inspect towers and test radio planning and line-of-sight between radio towers.

The most notable proponent of the technology so far has been Amazon, which is also set to launch its Prime Air scheme within the next few years

More details about the program were recently revealed in a series of patent applications which showed that the drones involved will be able to talk to each other to share information and update their routes in real time, determining if their flight paths and proposed landing areas are safe and free of obstacles (like people or dogs).

Using location data pulled from a user’s smartphone, package delivery locations will be updated in real-time as customers move around, so your goods can come to you, depending on where you are when your shipment is ready.

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