Japanese company trials seaplane drone in fish spotting

seafoodsource.com -- Aug 11
A Japanese company has created an unmanned, autonomous aerial drone that it envisages could be used to monitor infrastructure, search for missing swimmers or vessels, and to spot schools of fish.

The company, Space Entertainment Laboratory, along with Itochu Aviation, ran a demonstration experiment – with the cooperation of Nagai Town Fisheries Cooperative and Yokosuka City – of the new plane in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, to try and spot a school of fish. A flight route for the drone, named Hamadori, was pre-set based on advice from fishermen, and though no school of fish was found during three one-hour flights, the drone carried out a series of operations including lowering the drone into the water, taking off, and observing video while transmitting location information to another boat.

“We almost completed developing Hamadori early this year and now we are looking for the potential market, including fisher[ies],” Takenori Hashimoto of Space Entertainment Laboratory Co. told SeafoodSource. “The demonstration we performed in Sagami Bay last month was a part of such activities.”

He said that the flight is autonomous including takeoff, landing, and running on the sea surface. The user can set a flight path pre-flight and can also edit the path mid-flight. The battery capacity allows for two hours of flight. ...continue reading

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