TOKYO/ August 15, 2022/ VFR Inc./Rikei Corporation
-Virtual Simulator Enables Anytime Anyplace Flight Training-
ACSL Ltd. (Head Office: Edogawa-ku, Tokyo; President and COO: Satoshi Washiya; hereinafter “ACSL”), VFR Inc. (Head Office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Koichiro Yuasa; hereinafter ”VFR”), and Rikei Corporation (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Satoru Isaka; hereinafter “Rikei”) are pleased to announce the joint development of SOTEN Virtual Flight Simulator, that virtually reproduce ACSL’s Japanese drone “SOTEN” that enables flight training. The companies have started providing the trial version of SOTEN Virtual Flight Simulator to test users, and are working on improvements aiming for its official release in January 2023.
*Press release issued on 2022/5/10
Background and purpose of the joint development
It can be said that the year 2022 is a turning point in the environment surrounding drones, with the implementation of an aircraft certification system, and drone flight license system following the revision of the Civil Aeronautics Law. Against this backdrop, ACSL launched the Japanese small aerial photography drone “SOTEN” in December 2021, and has been accelerating the social implementation. On the other hand, in terms of opportunities of drone flight, several issues have come up, such as “I want to do flight training more easily,” and “If flight training can be conducted in an environment that simulates practical operations which are difficult to imitate, the time required for on-the-job training can be reduced.”
The SOTEN Virtual Flight Simulator, which was developed using VR environment built by Rikei, solves these issues by reproducing a user interface similar to that of SOTEN, enabling flight training in a virtual environment. In addition, the companies are developing contents that will help the users improve judgment needed for drone flight, such as emergency landings and others that can only be done by virtual.
■ Features of SOTEN Virtual Flight Simulator
・ The simulator is specialized for the Japanese drone SOTEN, and reproduces the same aircraft performance and user interface as SOTEN. Camera shooting and other trainings can be done in a virtual environment.
・ Users can experience various practical situations such as inspection, search, and disaster monitoring. The training corresponding to Hiyari-hatto (*1) and problems unique to practical operations is available.
・ The training can be conducted using only a PC, a monitor, and a proportional controller (*2), so there is no need to prepare an actual drone.
1 Hiyari-hatto: Near-miss incidents that is very close to causing a serious disaster or accident.
2 Propotional controller: A transmitter that is generally used for drone operations.
■ Future Development
The trial version of SOTEN Virtual Flight Simulator is now available, and its improvements are being made for the official release in January 2023. In addition, we will develop drone flight simulation space in metaverse space to verify the system allows multiple people can train simultaneously in one space.
ACSL Ltd. has been developing Japanese-made industrial drones in order to realize labor saving and unmanned operations in the industrial field. In particular, the company provides cutting-edge autonomous control technology with image processing and AI edge computing technologies, as well as industrial drones equipped with the technology. ACSL Ltd.’s drones have been adopted in various fields such as infrastructure inspection, postal and logistics services, and disaster prevention.
[ VFR Inc. ]
VFR was established as a subsidiary of VAIO Corporation with the vision of “Opening up possibilities for people and society with our technologies and passion.” The company provides solutions for drone business, service providers, and end users, and also aim to contribute to building an ecosystem for the development of the drone industry by engaging in an open and flat dialog with all parties involved in the drone industry.
Rikei Corporation, established in 1957, is a solution vendor in the IT and electronics industries. In the fields of system solutions, network solutions, electronic components and equipment, the company provides a variety of solutions centered on the world’s most advanced technologies and advanced products. Regarding VR, Rikei Corporation is focusing on development of technology that creates VR space equivalent to real space, and the technology has been adopted by automobile manufacturers and others.
Source: VFR Inc./Rikei Corporation
PR and Marketing Department