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Auterion Powers Smart Agriculture & Infrastructure Drones in Japan

By Mike Ball / 20 Jul 2021
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NTT-e-Drone and Auterion

Auterion has partnered with NTT e-Drone Technology to accelerate the development of drone technology that will help tackle major social problems in Japan. The two companies plan to drive the development, manufacturing, operation, and sales of next-generation drone fleets that will enable life-changing smart farming and infrastructure management.

NTT e-Drone will produce a flight controller and mission computer in Japan based on Auterion’s Skynode drone control device developed and provided by Auterion. This will be installed in next-generation drones developed by NTT e-Drone that have functions such as LTE, 5G support, remote control, and autonomous navigation, and will be offered to drone manufacturers looking for Skynode- based products made in Japan.

NTT e-Drone operates Suite, a drone operation management system developed and provided by Auterion, on a server in Japan. The company will accelerate the social implementation of drones in fields such as agriculture, inspection, surveying, and disaster countermeasures by adding functions specifically for the Japanese market. The drones deployed by NTT e-Drone include the Quantum Systems Vector and the Vantage Robotics Vesper.

The partnership’s software-defined drones using NTT’s network will enable Japan’s agriculture and climate experts to examine data and provide analysis and advice to farmers in real-time, even in the most remote areas.

Lorenz Meier, co-founder and CEO of Auterion, commented: “Through our strategic alliance with NTT e-Drone, various Japanese companies and regional governments, especially those concerned with national security, can easily access Auterion’s ecosystem of the world’s most advanced open source platforms for drones. By combining that ecosystem with the 5G, AI, and edge cloud ICT services promoted by the NTT Group, we will be able to provide customers with new value and integrated capabilities never before seen on the market.”

“Experts who can relay best practices and troubleshoot urgent issues for rural farmers, without the need for time-consuming travel over great distances, will help those farmers increase yields. With widespread deployment of smart farming drone fleets, Japan may even surpass its 45% food sustainability goal in the next few years.”

“The comprehensive business alliance between Auterion and NTT e-Drone will advance the use of drones in infrastructure inspections and surveying across industries, delivering, for example, real-time status updates on roads and bridges. The automation of infrastructure inspection with scalable drone fleets in Japan is a major step in achieving scaled, data-driven management of critical infrastructure that fixes what’s broken. While you cannot have 10,000 expert infrastructure inspectors in the field, you can have 10,000 drones delivering data in real-time to a handful of experts in the office using powerful analysis software. The end result is more efficient, expansive and safer physical spaces per the vision laid out in Japan’s Society 5.0.”

Hiroshi Tanabe, President of NTT e-Drone Technology, said: “The partnership with Auterion is indispensable to our mission of ‘realizing the social implementation of drones that contribute to solving social issues.’ We also expect to access markets other than Japan’s and work with Auterion to realize next-generation drones that place the highest priority on drone safety and reliability.”

Atsuko Oka, Senior Vice President and Head of Technology Planning at NTT, said: “We will promote the introduction and implementation of new technologies from NTT laboratories and partner companies. Additionally, we will conduct planning and execution of disaster countermeasures, security, and efficient procurement of facilities. In these efforts, development and utilization of safe and secure drones is an especially important issue. This strategic alliance between Auterion and NTT e-Drone is expected to accelerate the resolution of these issues, and we would like to support them.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact