SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PowerVision and Japan Softbank Business Services Limited (Softbank C&S) take the lead in opening a new chapter in the underwater UAV industry. The two parties reached a strategic agreement on March 1st, 2018.
Japan Softbank Group is known for its investment business, with their wide range of investment areas and high return on investment.
Softbank has long been interested in the investment and development of the robotics industry. They created a Robotics + LOT division last year and started to promote consumer robotics products. Whether it is the Pepper humanoid robot jointly developed with France's Aldebaran Robotics, or the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, Softbank is putting more and more focus on the robotics industry. In addition, Japan's natural environment and rich marine resources have made the Japanese rely more on artificial intelligence technologies in both industry and consumer-level applications. Softbank chose PowerVision as its strategic partner to step in the field of underwater artificial intelligence after seeing PowerVision’s leading position and great potential in the UAV innovative technology field.
Softbank C&S, or SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp, is one of the three major businesses of Softbank Group. In recent years, they extended their reach into the fields of innovative technology and provided sales, marketing, technical support, and logistics management for LOT products, robotics, and cloud services. Based on the agreement signed by two parties, Softbank C&S will work closely with PowerVision to accelerate the full-scale landing of underwater UAV products in Japan.
PowerVision Robot, a young and aggressive technology company, established its Japanese branch, PowerVision Japan Co., Ltd., last April in Tokyo. In May of the same year, it released PowerRay, the first underwater UAV product, in Tokyo with great sales numbers. Within a year, PowerVision was able to approach the entire Japanese market, showing its ability and ambitions. This collaboration enhances PowerVision’s capability to leverage to the global market.
The main product of this cooperation agreement, the PowerRay underwater drone, is the first consumer underwater drone in the world. With a 4K UHD camera, 1080P real-time transmission of underwater images, it can dive to 98 feet and can be used in both saltwater and freshwater. PowerRay has been widely used in underwater photography, underwater exploration, aquaculture, underwater inspection, and search and rescue efforts. It has been distributed through major e-commerce platforms such as Japan Yodobashi, Bic Camera, Edion, Amazon and other well-known local sales channels in Japan.
This cooperation will promptly promote PowerVision’s UAV products in the Japanese market and will sell through major channels. It is only the first step of the partnership. In the near future, the two parties will have a more extensive and in-depth partnership in the field of drones and other business sectors.