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Sony Mobile’s Aerosense partnership aims to create autonomous drones

The Sony brand is arguably one of the largest in consumer tech, but its latest endeavour to create flying drones takes the company in a new direction.

Drones have fast become a tech-lover’s next must-have purchase and companies like DJI and Parrot have capitalised on their ever-increasing popularity, but investment from Sony’s mobile division suggests that it wants a piece of this pie.

The company has already invested nearly $850,000 into Japanese autonomy startup ZMP, whose tagline is to ‘make a robot of everything’ and whose past projects include ‘automated driving technologies’ a.k.a. self-driving cars, similarly to those in the works by other tech giants like Apple and Google. This latest endeavour however sees ZMP and Sony take to the skies with unmanned aerial drones.

The joint venture, dubbed ‘Aerosense’, gives Sony the larger share, but only by a whisker (0.05 per cent to be precise) and things are expected to kick off early next month. Unlike the aforementioned drone makers, the products coming out of this collaboration are aimed squarely at enterprise users; businesses who may require drone services ‘for image capture combined with cloud-based data processing,’ according to the official release.

Whilst ZMP will provide the autonomy tech, Sony Mobile’s involvement falls to its talents in cameras and communications. We’re well aware of the killer cameras inside handsets like the Xperia Z3 Compact and Z3+, but it’s other manufacturers who really highlight Sony’s talent for imaging and have actually helped them become the biggest player in the business.

If Sony’s camera sensors are good enough for Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Apple’s latest iPhones, you can bet these Aerosense drones are going to have some of the best optics around.


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