Home / Technology / Sony Officially Launches Airpeak S1: A $9,000 Pro Drone

Sony Officially Launches Airpeak S1: A $9,000 Pro Drone

Sony has finally launched its aerial robotic attack and announced the Airpeak S1, a $9,000 professional drone that promises great flying features. obstacle detection system and the ability to “lift heavy objects” on devices that are slightly larger than the DJI Inspire 2.

Sony is touting the Airpeak S1 as the smallest drone that can handle the weight of a full-sized mirrorless camera and associated large single lens. It’s a combination reserved for larger “heavy” quadcopters like the DJI Matrice 200 S1. It can carry up to 5 pounds of camera gear and can accelerate from zero to 50 mph in 3.5 seconds at top speed. 55.9 mph Sony says this is faster acceleration than DJI’s Inspire 2, and that top speed is far superior to DJI’s heavy-lifting Matrice, which has a top speed of 50 mph.

Much of what Sony has accomplished here is said to be due to its tightly integrated system. Due to the broad expertise of a wide range of electronics, the S1 uses proprietary motors, propellers, control systems and sensing technologies. The S1 is supported by standalone controllers and dedicated apps. (Which will launch for iOS only, with no word on when or when it will arrive on Android) and includes in-flight obstacle detection.

[Airpeak S1’s] The newly developed propulsion system focuses on the aircraft response for the most user-friendly flight for professional builders. Airpeak’s systems are optimized to ensure stable flight even in high winds.

stable flight

As shown in past videos, Sony touts the S1 as the most stable drone in its class, even under harsh conditions. It has a maximum pitch angle of 55 degrees, which allows for extreme bank angles with a high degree of maneuverability. It can also withstand winds of up to 44.7 mph.

Particularly in terms of wind resistance, Sony says the Inspire can’t maintain angles or pitch in the same environment, and the Matrice 200, which is more stable than the Inspire, can’t maintain a more stable position at wind speeds than the S1. Still, fixed. So Sony argues that the S1 outperforms both.

Speed, power, and stability all come at a cost. However: the S1 is rated for a maximum flight time of 22 minutes without payload and just 12 minutes with the Alpha 7S Mark III and 24mm f/1.4 attached.

Sensor array

For collision detection, the S1 is equipped with Sony image sensors in five key locations: front, rear, left, right, and bottom of the plane. Sony says the “Vision Sensing Processor” processes camera data at high speed and low power consumption. and when combined with the company’s proprietary algorithm It will be able to accurately assess the spatial position and orientation of the aircraft in real time. The company says this allows stable flight even in environments where reception of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals may be impeded, such as indoors or under bridges.

Sony says it uses a five-way camera to determine the 3D area the drone flies for the best control and stability.

The Airpeak S1 is also equipped with an in-house high-performance flight control system that Sony claims includes all sensor data, such as data collected from the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), direction, barometric pressure, and air pressure. and infrared range to increase efficiency its flight and propulsion

Onboard sensors and electronics work together to brake the S1’s multidirectional obstacles. The language seems to have been carefully crafted, as Sony doesn’t claim to be able to avoid objects. but to prevent collisions with objects That differentiates it from collision avoidance expectations set by industry leader DJI. Still, Sony says those stereo cameras and infrared range finder sensors mounted on top of the drone will recognize obstacles. in the vicinity of the aircraft and let it slow down and stop automatically according to the behavior of the aircraft and surrounding conditions

drone control

Sony will launch the Airpeak S1 with the Airpeak Flight app, an iOS and iPadOS-only application (at launch) that connects to drones and allows camera and gimbal control, and also allows operator monitoring. Status information such as flight distance and remaining distance battery power as well as changing functions and settings

In addition to the app, the S1 is also controlled by the included controller. In this way, the drone supports dual modes of operation. so that one user can fly while the other can focus on camera control. The camera mounted on the nose tip of the aircraft can be tilted from the remote control. To allow pilots to better track the environment and flight paths

Workflow efficiency

Sony is also launching the Airpeak Base web application, which allows it to manage flight planning. fleet management and an integrated notebook viewer

Operators can create advanced flight plans and automatically fly the same route over and over in the “on rails” experience. The drone’s position (latitude, longitude, and altitude) and speed can be pre-programmed based on the timeline. The pilot can also specify the direction of the gimbal and the duration of the video or still image capture process. The flight can be repeated just like the previous flight log. This allows for multiple shots in professional situations. It also reduces the stress of shorter battery life — the S1 can land, install a new battery. and returns in the same capture path

Sony also announced Airpeak Plus, a cloud-based service that will allow AirPeak Base and provide a comprehensive protection plan for accidental damage to drones.

Camera Compatibility

Sony says the Airpeak S1 will be compatible with a range of Sony Alpha cameras, including the Alpha 1, Alpha 9 Mark II, Alpha 7S Mark III, Alpha 7R Mark IV and FX3. It will also work with a range of lenses from the 14 focal range. mm to 85 mm. When connected to the S1, both the USB and HDMI ports are plugged in.

Sony has not tested or published any information. Regarding the use of third-party cameras, Sony notes that compatibility doesn’t have to be impossible. A Sony representative noted that the ability for apps and operators to theoretically transmit data to the aircraft via the gimbal to the camera is the only limiting factor. This is because the drone itself and the gimbal tend to be able to physically deal with third-party cameras.

Gimbal not included

The gimbal is the only part Sony hasn’t made specifically and is a custom Gemsy Gimbal T3. The gimbal is not included in the purchase price, and while the dedicated gimbal costs $1,750 on Gemsy’s website, Sony says the given job Some custom made may cause the final S1 design price to differ, which is not stated at Publication time

Other Notes

Sony hasn’t tested the Airpeak S1’s signal range and hence didn’t live up to any expectations. while announcing The company hasn’t yet been able to answer whether the drone can automatically return to its launch position in the event of a disconnection. A Sony representative noted that the drone has a “go home” option, so if it’s not an automatic feature at launch, it’s not an automatic feature. It can theoretically be added via firmware update.

It’s also worth noting that Sony doesn’t plan to geofence its drones at all. S1’s ability to fly in any airspace not locked by the manufacturer And at the time of publication, Sony has required pilots to take full responsibility for the flight location. This is in contrast to DJI, which by default prevents flights in certain locations, such as airports, unless the company specifically unlocks them with a license from the FAA.

Finally, Sony especially notes that the Airpeak S1 will be made in Japan. The company said this could help alleviate concerns related to products made in China.

The Airpeak S1 will retail for $9,000, will be available for pre-order and will ship to customers in the fall of 2021 with mainstream aircraft. Four propellers, remote, two batteries. and charger Additional propellers are supplied in sets of two along with spare batteries and chargers. As stated, the gimbal is also sold separately. No price has been set for accessories or replacement parts at the time of announcement.

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