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ARRIVING
FALL 2021

Break the boundaries of aerial expression.​

Advanced drone technology ​​to inspire creators to new heights.​

The sky is your canvas.​

Let your creativity soar.

Elevating Creativity

Combining our imaging and sensing technological expertise and AI Robotics,
we open the skies into an infinite creative playground – one with unprecedented freedom.
Let us lift you to never-reached creative experience by unleashing all constraints and barriers.

Seeking Professional Collaborators*

Sony is obtaining feedback from professional drone users and seeking collaborators* in the United States and Japan to participate in our Airpeak project. Be a part of our community!
*Professional Collaborators : people and companies who currently use drones professionally to create content or provide additional services to customers.

Benefits include:

  • Receive updates on events and other activities hosted by Sony.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with products under development.
  • Receive the latest information on our product development.

Anyone can get the latest information on this website or by following social media accounts below.

News

2021.5.28

Exhibition Booth at Japan Drone 2021 Expo

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2021.5.24

Field Testing at Iriomote Island, Okinawa

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2021.4.20

Video Footage of Wind Resistance Testing

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2021.4.6

About the Airpeak Statement

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2021.1.12

Aerial Shooting of VISION-S Road Test

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2021.1.12

Unveiling the Airpeak Aircraft at CES2021

Learn more

2021.5.28

Exhibition Booth at Japan Drone 2021 Expo

This year, Airpeak will be participating in Japan Drone 2021, a commercial UAS exhibition event now in its sixth year, held from June 14th to 16th at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. In addition to hosting an exhibition booth, the Senior Vice President of AI Robotics Business Group, Izumi Kawanishi, will be delivering the keynote address for the International Conference.

Event Overview

Dates (Exhibition & Conference): June 14 (Mon.) to 16 (Wed.), 2021

Venue: Makuhari Messe (Chiba, Japan)

Admission: Advance registration here

Organizer: Japan UAS Industrial Development Association (JUIDA)

Event Website: https://ssl.japan-drone.com/en_la/index.html

Keynote Address

Overview of Sony’s new drone project: Elevating Creativity
Izumi Kawanishi, Senior Vice President, AI Robotics Business Group, Sony Group Corporation

Date & Time: June 14 (Mon.) 10:45 - 11:15 (JST)

Venue: International Exhibition Hall

Overview: In November 2020, Sony launched a brand-new drone project. The increase in drones and drone users over recent years has had far reaching effects, providing us with previously unseen dynamic images, and contributing to operational efficiency and labor saving in the industrial sector.The address will explore the significance of challenging this field with Sony's Imaging, Sensing, and AI Robotics technology, and talk about the first Airpeak product and forthcoming developments.


2021.5.24

Field Testing at Iriomote Island, Okinawa

We have continued with field testing Airpeak in different environments, and in this issue would like to share video footage from field testing in Okinawa's Iriomote Island. Footage was recorded using the recently announced 35mm Alpha™ E-mount FE14mm F1.8GM lens, and taking advantage of the ultra wide-angle lens, we were able to capture the dynamic natural landscape of Iriomote Island.

Iriomote Island is a national park located about 2,100 km south west of Tokyo, and is covered mostly by subtropical jungle. The island's untouched beauty makes it both an ideal spot for shooting with a drone, and a location with tricky flying conditions. During our field testing, we experimented with different types of flying conditions. For example, we flew the drone over the top of a waterfall and out past the basin to test Airpeak's capabilities when there is a difference in height, and also flew the drone through a mangrove forest to test how it would operate in situations where it could be difficult to pick up GNSS signals. The data and information we get from testing helps us to improve flight safety and stability.

Airpeak will be designed to have a payload that can accommodate a variety of equipment. This includes being compatible with a range of 35mm Alpha™ E-mount lenses for the Alpha™ mirrorless camera. Customers will be able to select the lens that best suits their photography conditions and requirements.

For example, for high-quality movie shooting, or for shooting in low lighting conditions such as inside buildings or tunnels, we recommend using the α7S III or FX3. For high-resolution panoramic aerial photography, or zooming in on part of a subject for inspection, we recommend the α7R IV, a powerful camera with the photographic capability of approximately 61.0 megapixel photography. We are also planning to make Airpeak compatible with α1 and α9 II.

As for lenses, we plan for Airpeak to be compatible with a variety of prime lenses, including G Master series products such as FE14mm F1.8GM and FE24mm F1.4GM. Additional lenses that can be used with Airpeak include the Sonnar T* FE35mm F2.8ZA used frequently for surveying, and the telephoto lens FE85mm F1.8, popularly used for inspections. We also intend to adapt Airpeak's capability to be compatible with future releases in the Alpha™ series, and hope to keep you posted.

Airpeak was also used to shoot part of the promotional movie for the FE14mm F1.8 GM lens.

  • Promotional Movie: Click here
  • Product information: Click here

2021.4.20

Video Footage of Wind Resistance Testing

We will share video footage of the wind resistance testing conducted at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and tell you about recent developments in the drone propulsion system.

The wind tunnel at JAXA can generate an artificial airflow at a constant speed. Our goal here was to see how the drone could be affected by strong wind, and up to what wind speed the drone could endure. Our test results showed that the prototype could maintain stable flight up to around 20m/s - a wind so powerful an average person would have trouble standing upright.

A drone’s propulsion system, which mainly comprises the propellers, motors and ESC (Electric Speed Controller), is essential to maintaining stability in strong wind. Airpeak’s propulsion system is optimized to ensure stable flight even in strong winds and features an ESC designed for superior control, highly efficient and responsive 17-inch propellers, and lightweight, high-performance, high-power brushless motors.

In the natural world, the direction of the wind is constantly changing, making control harder. Developing agile and responsive control functions is essential, and simply speeding up the propellers is not the answer. The key to stable flight is to design a system that is both highly responsive to the environment, and can maintain control under any condition. We are developing a unique propulsion system and flight controller for the device, and testing the technology in strong winds and other challenging environmental conditions as we strive towards an optimum level of flight stability for Airpeak.


2021.4.6

About the Airpeak Statement

Elevating Creativity

Combining our imaging and sensing technological expertise and AI Robotics, we open the skies into an infinite creative playground – one with unprecedented freedom. Let us lift you to never-reached creative experience by unleashing all constraints and barriers.

As mentioned in our statement, we are combining our expertise in imaging, sensing and AI robotics technology in our continuous development of Airpeak. At CES 2021, Airpeak was unveiled as a drone system designed with professional filming in mind.

From the perspective of “imaging,” by using the high-speed aerial tracking of Airpeak, equipped with the α7S III and FE 24mm F1.4 GM, we could capture a road test of a prototype of VISION-S (electric vehicle under development) to produce a dynamic piece of video footage.

We could create this video not only because of the high-speed aerial capability, but also the ability to detect the surroundings in real-time while also maintaining flight stability. The technology used here, the “Sensing” of surroundings, and the “Robotics” function of moving in accordance with those surroundings, is the same technology used in VISION-S, Airpeak and entertainment robot, aibo. Each of these have their own specifications, but all use autonomous controls to sense obstacles and stop or avoid them. Such “Sensing” and “Robotics” are used in our development testing, and we were able to share some of that with the video shown at CES 2021.

Moving on to development updates, we are currently in the process of conducting various field tests and evaluations. The Austrian mountains shown in the CES 2021 video were covered in snow, and the test course was thick with fog. These conditions were actually a lucky accident, and not something we had planned for, but it has meant that we can go on to test the accuracy of Airpeak’s sensing and control functions in various different weather conditions.

We also recently visited the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to test wind resistance, using a prototype. We are aiming for a high-level of wind resistance as we continue developing Airpeak’s frame. We plan to share video footage from that test at a later date.


2021.1.12

Aerial Shooting of VISION-S Road Test

This is a behind-the-scenes video of VISION-S's road test in Austria, shot by Airpeak. The drone, equipped with the α7S III full-frame mirrorless single lens camera, unleashes all constraints and barriers for creators to push the boundaries of visual expression with dynamic shooting.


2021.1.12

Unveiling the Airpeak Aircraft at CES2021

Airpeak aircraft unveiled for the first time at CES 2021 as a new product integrating AI and Robotics designed for creators. With Sony’s Alpha™ mirrorless cameras, stable, dynamic remote shooting is possible.


2021.1.12

Airpeak drone unveiled to the public

Airpeak, the world's smallest drone capable to carry Alpha™ camera system, unveiled to the public.


2020.11.9

Launch of The Drone Project

Launched a new project for drones in the field of AI robotics. Sony will continue to post project-related information and prepare for the launch of the project in the spring of 2021.


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