Sony has announced a partnership with Japanese company ZMP to help develop drones that can be used to explore inaccessible places and then will share the data with third parties, such as governmental organisations.

The new spinoff company, called Aerosense, will develop drones that collect digital information, including pictures of the area using onboard cameras borrowed from Sony’s smartphones.

The first prototype can take off vertically, saving space to operate, and will also integrate a number of the sensors and networking technology integrated in Sony’s mobile devices to help it function safely and reliably.

The drones are part of Sony’s ongoing plan to make better cameras and sensors in all its products, and also to create a drone that is able to fly for longer and faster than other automated devices.

It’s thought the lightweight devices will be able to reach speeds of up to 106mph, which is twice as fast as other commercial drones that have been developed so far.

Security concerns

As drones become more popular there are, increasingly, more accidents that take place because of the use, and the misuse, of drones.

For example, a Lufthansa flight flying from Munich to Warsaw almost crashed into a drone that it came across as it was landing, and the Warsaw Air Traffic Control was heavily critiqued for not having a tight enough reign on its airspace. Although the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority will be looking into this incident, it shows that drones can create many dangers if allowed to work autonomously.

However, Hisashi Taniguchi, chief executive of Aerosense and ZMP explained that taking the human input out of drone operation actually makes them safer: “By making them automated, drones will be considerably safer because many of accidents today are caused by human error.”