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Break the boundaries of aerial expression.​

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

The sky is your canvas.​

Let your creativity soar.

airpeak

Now available!

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

2022.10.30

New system software now available for Airpeak S1 and Airpeak Flight app adding new features

Learn more

Visual Expression Making the Most of Airpeak S1 and Alpha™ Performance

Learn more

2022.6.6

New system software now available for Airpeak S1 and Airpeak Flight app adding new features

Learn more

2021.12.1

Airpeak S1 Now Available for Pre-order

Learn more

2021.5.28

Exhibition Booth at Japan Drone 2021 Expo

Learn more

2021.5.24

Field Testing at Iriomote Island, Okinawa

Learn more

2021.4.20

Video Footage of Wind Resistance Testing

Learn more

2021.4.6

About the Airpeak Statement

Learn more

2021.1.12

Aerial Shooting of VISION-S Road Test

Learn more

2021.1.12

Unveiling the Airpeak Aircraft at CES2021

Learn more

2022.10.30

New system software now available for Airpeak S1 and Airpeak Flight app adding new features

New system software version 1.2.0 for the aircraft and remote controller of Airpeak S1 have been released along with a new Airpeak Flight app version 1.4.0.

With these updates, your Airpeak S1 receives new features including the Pre-flight check screen display, shutter sound notifications and zoom lens control. Moreover, Mission Flight has been improved to offer support for a wide variety of use cases such as shooting for mapping or modeling.

Key benefits

  • Improves usability during shooting.
  • Adds a new compatible zoom lens model.
  • Adds new main gimbal control mode.
  • Supports advanced mission flight features.

Details

Improved shooting usability

While shooting still images, users can now confirm images are properly captured with shutter sound notifications1 and with thumbnails taken while the power is on.

Additionally, with the Pre-flight check screen display, it is now possible to check the remaining camera media capacity2, the configuration/state of the aircraft and remote controller before starting a flight to ensure safety while flying.

New compatible zoom lens model

E-mount FE PZ 16-35 mm F4 G wide-angle power zoom lens has been added as a compatible model. Preset parameters in Main tuning of the Gimbal settings are added and the zoom can now be operated from the remote controller3.

New main gimbal control mode

Airplane mode is added to the main gimbal control modes. In this mode, the main gimbal follows the tilt of the aircraft, so dynamic, FPV drone-style footage can be captured.

Advanced mission flight features

Mission Flight has been improved to offer support for a wide variety of use cases including shooting for mapping and modeling.

  • Progress can now be displayed during Mission Flight.
  • Missions can be resumed from a suspended point (e.g. even after stopping to change batteries).
  • Setting added that points the noise of the aircraft in the direction of travel during a mission flight.
  • Setting added that returns the aircraft to its original flight path after manual operation with the remote controller during a mission flight.
  • Feature added that prevents the aircraft from getting too close to upright structures when shooting them during a mission flight.
  • When the flight path has been changed due to manual operation, the new flight path is now displayed.

Airpeak Base

Airpeak Base web app has also been further improved. Maximum horizontal speed can now be set when creating a mission, more parameters are supported when importing KML files, and the logbook display is improved to show more information. Please refer to the User Guide for details.

Improvements

  • Addresses an issue whereby the frame rate of videos could drop when transferred due to signal interference.
  • Improves the FPV gimbal angle display in Follow mode.
  • Improves geomagnetic anomaly notifications before and during flights.
  • When camera directions and shooting is set to Manual, auto shooting will not occur.

Please refer to the release notes on the support site for details on how to perform a system software update.

Airpeak continues evolving to meet customer needs.

Airpeak official website: Click here

  1. Available with ILCE-7M4, ILCE-7RM4A and ILCE-7C. Camera shutter sound may be delayed due to longer image data process depending on file format (RAW/RAW+JPEG) and drive mode setting.
  2. Available with ILCE-7M4, ILCE-7RM4A, ILCE-1, ILME-FX3, ILCE-7C, ILCE-9M2 and ILCE-7SM3.
  3. Available with ILCE-7M4, ILCE-7RM4A, ILCE-1, ILME-FX3, ILCE-7C, ILCE-9M2, ILCE-7SM3 and ILCE-7RM4.

Visual Expression Making the Most of Airpeak S1 and Alpha™ Performance

We developed the Airpeak S1 with the goal of fully supporting adding new value for video creators using Sony technology. Now, we have made a video combining content on the topics of motocross, breaking, and skateboarding so customers can experience the Airpeak S1’s potential for video creation. Be sure to watch this high-image-quality video with stable flight thanks to the Airpeak S1’s admirable agility and sensing, with a punch packed by the sophisticated expressivity and lens variations of the Alpha series, including the Cinema Line’s FX3.

In these shoots, we used the FX3 and Alpha 7S III as the main cameras when taking video in low-light environments at night and sunset. We chose the best lenses from the diverse Alpha™ E-mount lineup according to the subject and scenery. One of the Airpeak S1’s strong points for making videos is an aircraft compatible with installing the variety of lenses crucial for rich visual expression, like the wide-angle FE 14mm F1.8 GM and FE 24mm F1.4 GM for dynamic and impactful shots and the telephoto FE 85mm F1.8 for creating images that impress with their blurring on approach to the subject and compression effect.

Intense footage capturing the quick starts and action of motocross bikes was accomplished using the Airpeak S1’s powerful flight performance, beginning with its ability to accelerate. Video with sweeping speed, as if it were shot with a small FPV drone, can be recorded using high-image-quality 4K footage, including 120p high-frame-rate recording. One type of visual expression sought by the Airpeak development team was exactly this.

Equipment used (including equipment for the drone used to shoot the drone itself)
Drone: Airpeak S1 (aircraft/remote controller version 1.1.0, Airpeak Flight version 1.2.0)
Cameras*: FX3, Alpha 7S III
Lenses*: FE 14mm F1.8 GM, FE 24mm F1.4 GM, SEL35F18F, SEL55F18Z, FE 85mm F1.8

Shooting the skateboarding, we also challenged ourselves to make one video by superimposing all the material shot by flying the same course automatically several times, following a route created in advance. With the lucky conditions of a gentle breeze on the day of filming, we were able to shoot high-quality material with few discrepancies even with simple layering.

Equipment used: (including equipment for the drone used to shoot the drone itself)
Drone: Airpeak S1(aircraft/remote controller version1.0.8, Airpeak Flight version 1.1.4)
Cameras*: FX3, Alpha 7S III
Lenses: FE 14mm F1.8 GM, FE 24mm F1.4 GM, SEL35F18F, FE 85mm F1.8

For the breaking, we filmed in a low-light environment to take the best advantage of the Alpha’s ability to shoot in the dark. We stationed lights on the roof of a wharf building after sunset to capture dancers whirling flamboyantly on an illuminated stage from angles only a drone can achieve. We caught acrobatic dancing shot in 4K, 120p slow motion from directly above as well as the faces of dancers up close using the compact aircraft to weave through the light, and the night skyline stretching in the background. Clear footage with little noise has dramatically enhanced the quality of aerial videography in a low-light environment.

Equipment used: (including equipment for the drone used to shoot the drone itself)
Drone: Airpeak S1 (aircraft/remote controller version 1.1.0, Airpeak Flight version 1.2.0)
Cameras*: FX3, Alpha 7S III
Lenses*: FE 14mm F1.8 GM, FE 24mm F1.4 GM, SEL35F18F, FE 85mm F1.8
* We considered safety by arranging only lighting environments where the aircraft was visible with the naked eye and environments with no people around when shooting at night.

Furthermore, as per our update announced on June 1, 2022, we extended the camera settings that can be operated by the remote controller, making the settings of a camera at elevation easy to change without landing the aircraft and improving efficiency for filming operation. Airpeak users can now concentrate more on creating the images they are determined to capture.

Break the boundaries of aerial expression.
Going forward, the Airpeak will expand the creativity of professional creators and unfold the fun in entertainment with unprecedented visual expression. We will continue to promote joint activities with all our professional supporters and seek the possibilities of drones.

* We used a camera system (including lens filters and hoods) with a combined weight of under roughly 1.1 kilograms.


2022.06.06

New system software now available for Airpeak S1 and Airpeak Flight app adding new features

New system software version 1.1.0 for the aircraft and remote controller of Airpeak S1 have been released along with a new Airpeak Flight app version 1.2.0.

With these updates, your Airpeak S1 receives new features including offline repeat flight, advanced camera control and a flexible side menu on the flight screen of the Airpeak Flight app.

Key benefits

  • Supports Direct Repeat Flight function.
  • Adds new camera settings.
  • Adds a new compatible camera model.
  • Supports customization of the side menu on the flight screen

Direct Repeat Flight function

Direct Repeat Flight allows a path previously flown to be repeated immediately offline, without having to connect to the cloud.

Together with the current repeat flight which enables sophisticated re-creation of a flight path from the log with Airpeak Base web app, users can choose the perfect repeat flight in two ways depending on the situation to accurately reproduce the same flight path multiple times.

New camera settings

In addition to the settings such as aperture value or shutter speed that can be controlled currently, more detailed camera settings such as drive mode or file format are now supported. Additionally, you can leverage focus setting like flexible focus points from supporting camera models.

Moreover, thumbnail previews can be displayed in the lower right of the screen when still images are taken during a flight by turning on "Display still images taken as thumbnails" under Display in the General settings so users can confirm that still images are properly taken.

Note: The items that can be controlled differ depending on the camera model.

New compatible camera model

Alpha 7 IV (ILCE-7M4) has been added as a compatible model along with preset parameters in Main tuning of the Gimbal settings.

Customization of side menu on flight screen

Users can personalize the flight screen depending on the shooting situation. The position or order of various functions of the Aircraft, Remote controller, Camera or Gimbal can be changed by pressing and holding the side menu item on the flight screen.

These changes come in addition to updates made to the Airpeak Base web made in April. The April update improved the ability to re-create flight paths from the log for more efficient and organized operation.

Airpeak has been continuously improved through customer feedback. With the cooperation of participating customers and field testing, we have been able to improve the video transmission quality when communication status is poor with the previous system software update in April.

Please refer to the release notes on the support site for details on how to perform a system software update.

Airpeak continues evolving to meet customer needs.


2021.12.1

Airpeak S1 Now Available for Pre-order

World’s Smallest Alpha Mirrorless Camera-Ready Professional Drone Will Ship on December 24, 2021

SAN DIEGO, CA – December 1, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the availability timing of the company’s first-ever professional drone, "Airpeak S1." The introductory model in the new Airpeak line, the S1 is the world's smallest drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless interchangeable-lens Alpha camera, opening up a new world of creative possibilities for cinematographers and other visual storytelling professionals . Pre-sale opens today, December 1, 2021, with an expected customer ship date of December 24, 2021.

Introduced to the public for the first time earlier this year, Airpeak S1 drone is designed for the professional user, and is compatible with a wide range of Sony’s camera bodies including the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S series, the Alpha 7R series, the Alpha 9 series, FX3 and others. It leverages proprietary technology and delivers for smooth maneuverability at high speeds with highly stable wind resistance, enabling high-quality aerial images and video content.

“We’re excited to now make the new Airpeak S1 drone available for purchase, and for the amazing set of possibilities this drone opens for cinematographers,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “The drone’s compact size, new software features and advanced imaging, sensing, AI and robotics reflect the high quality the industry respects Sony for, and enables content creators and commercial professionals to capture images and video not possible before.”

The drone includes “Airpeak Flight” iOS®-based application which integrates and monitors all hardware related to the drone, giving the operator real-time status display and updates on screen. "Airpeak Base"ii web application is also available, allowing the operator to manage the equipment, create advanced flight plans, run the same pattern repeatedly, and fully manage and troubleshoot flight logs. For multiple operators, Airpeak S1 also includes a dual operation mode so one user can operate the drone as another operates the gimbal and camera, while each can monitor the content being recorded. An optional cloud service, “Airpeak Plus”ii is available by paid subscription and provides additional data storage, advanced geofencing options, and import/export of flight logs.

Airpeak S1 suggested retail price is around $9,000.00 and will ship with two (2) pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two (2) batteries and a battery charger. A third-party gimbal made specifically for Airpeak S1 will be sold separately. Pricing for Airpeak S1 accessories can be found https://electronics.sony.com/more/c/airpeak. The optional “Airpeak Plus” subscription service will retail for around $300.00 for a 12-month period, with the optional “Protect Plan” coverage also available.

With this Airpeak news, Sony Group Corporation expands the possibilities for professional creators, enables unprecedented visual expression and drives a sense of Kando. In addition to empowering video creators, Sony will promote co-creation activities for industry professionals in a wide range of fields such as system integrators and industrial partners to explore the benefits of drone uses.

Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new Airpeak S1 and Sony's other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com and www.sonycine.com, sites created to educate and inspire fans and customers of Sony α - Alpha brand and Sony’s Cinema Line.

Airpeak S1 is made in Japan. Airpeak is a trademark of Sony Group Corporation.


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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