Sony Electronics has announced their first-ever professional drone, the “Airpeak S1” which they are billing as the world’s smallest drone that can be equipped with their full-size mirrorless interchangeable-lens Alpha camera. The new drone is said to utilize a proprietary motor, propeller, control system and sensing technology, allowing it to fly at speeds up to 55 mph with very stable operation in wind speeds up to 44.7 mph. It also includes obstacle detection, automatic flight control via sensing and increased safety via cloud management of the aircraft and flight information.
Operational data is collected via stereo cameras equipped with Sony’s image sensors installed in 5 locations (front, back, left, right, bottom) of the aircraft. Proprietary algorithms are used to accurately estimate the aircraft’s spatial position and orientation in real time, enabling stable flight even in environments where GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) reception may be hindered, such as indoors or under bridges. The Airpeak S1 is also equipped with a unique high-performance flight control system that integrates all sensor information such as IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), direction, barometric pressure and infrared ranging to optimize the propulsion device. The Airpeak S1 uses Multi-directional sensors to enable its obstacle braking function. The front, rear, left and right stereo cameras and the infrared range-finding sensor mounted on the top recognize obstacles in the vicinity of the aircraft, allowing the aircraft to automatically decelerate and stop according to the behavior of the aircraft and the surrounding conditions.
Airpeak drone comes with an iOS® and iPadOS® compatible application that integrates the aircraft, transmitter, camera, and gimbal, allowing the operator to monitor status information such as flight distance and remaining battery power, and change various operations and settings on the screen. Airpeak S1 also includes a dual operation mode so that one user can operate the drone, while another user can operate the gimbal and camera simultaneously, all while checking the same image, even in complicated scenes. The FPV (First Person View) camera, which can be tilt-operated from the remote controller, is mounted on the nose of the aircraft and is useful for the operator to check the direction of the aircraft and the direction of travel.
The new Airpeak S1 suggested retail price is approximately $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 the Airpeak S1 will be sold separately. The Airpeak S1 will be available for pre-order and ship to customers in the fall of 2021. For more information, please visit https://electronics.sony.com/airpeak.