ACSL Soten Small Drone from Japan

Japanese Drone Maker ACSL Enters US Market

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Leading Japanese drone maker ACSL Ltd. has announced its official entrance into the US commercial drone market.

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The company’s California subsidiary, ACSL Inc., will be introducing an affordable NDAA compliant small UAS to the US market later this year. ACSL Inc.’s market entrance will be led by CEO Cynthia Huang, a member of the Commercial UAV Advisory Board who previously led DJI’s North American Enterprise segment as well as drone software company Auterion.

Japan’s preferred drone developer, ACSL has a wide range of product offerings but plans to enter the market with its flagship small folding fleet drone, the SOTEN. Shipping is expected to take place in late 2023.

“Japan is a country renowned for its manufacturing of premium technology and ACSL is no exception,” said Huang. “There is immense attention to detail and very intentional product development that goes into each system. We are truly excited to bring the next generation of Japanese drone technology to the US market and offer new solutions to an industry looking for more options.”

ACSL Inc. intends to collaborate with US organizations to further refine the SOTEN product in an R&D process led by Global CTO Chris Raabe. Formerly having worked at Boeing, Raabe holds a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Tokyo. The feedback gathered will inform which features should be prioritized for future versions of the product.

“ACSL has been working hard to establish itself in its home market with a lineup that has consistently proven itself as a reliable tool that delivers results,” said Raabe. “We began arranging product demos for potential US clients late last year. With the opening of our subsidiary here in California, I am making the US my base, to be personally involved in our activity in the field, meeting these clients, demonstrating our capabilities, and learning about their needs.”

Initially launched in late 2021, the SOTEN has seen thousands of deployments by Japanese government and enterprise customers. The first system of its kind to offer a hot-swappable camera system, the SOTEN is a small but effective drone well suited to critical infrastructure inspections and disaster relief efforts. Gathered photo and video data can be optionally encrypted before being recorded to the memory card, and the drone’s communication with the controller is always encrypted.

The SOTEN drone captures 20-megapixel photographs and 4K video using a 1-inch sensor, a mechanical shutter, and a variety of pre-set image capture modes. Its camera system can be hot-swapped with an EO/IR camera, multispectral camera, or an optical zoom camera. The SOTEN has an estimated flight time of 25-29 minutes and is weather resistant. Obstacle detection sensors are present on the front, bottom, and top of the drone. Equipped with the standard camera and battery, the SOTEN weighs a total of 3.8lbs, and its folding design and compact nature lends it to a variety of enterprise use cases.

Those who wish to see the SOTEN up close will be able to do so when the company exhibits at the Energy Drone & Robotics Summit in June in Houston, Texas and at the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada in September.

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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

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