A recently formed Sony Mobile/ZMP joint venture has carried out first flight tests of a vertical take-off and landing fixed-wing unmanned air vehicle prototype.
Ahead of a planned rollout to customers at the beginning of 2016, flight testing has begun, and a video released by the Aerosense joint venture on 23 August shows the aircraft take off, carry out a short sortie and land vertically.
Aerosense says that the UAV was pre-programmed to carry out the flight, and ultimately the aircraft will provide the safe collection of high-resolution imagery over high-speed wireless to operators that want to use it for commercial surveillance, measuring and inspection.
It adds that cloud-based data processing could allow for high-resolution 2D or 3D models to be produced on the same day that data is collected.
It was announced in July that the two Japanese companies had come together to bring the system to market, utilising Sony’s camera, sensing, telecommunications networking and robotics experience with the automated driving and robotics expertise of ZMP. The initial investment into the joint venture was Y100 million ($83 million).
As far as Sony is concerned, the move into this area shows a new effort that “strives to provide its customers with additional value by developing and managing total package cloud solutions”.