ACSL Plans to Release Its SOTEN Drone in the US Market by the End of 2023

The SOTEN video drone will be available in the United States by the end of the year, as the Japanese manufacturer ACSL, Ltd. positions the product as both market-friendly, military-compliant hardware and competition for other popular drones in the country,

SOTEN and its companion drone PF2-CAT3 were exhibited during the G7 Hiroshima Summit in May, being touted as its first drones to receive the Class-1 UAS Type Certificate and potentially becoming their big player in the US drone market. 

SOTEN, a small commercial manned video drone, has been out in Japan since late 2021, and it has found itself in heavy use by the Japanese government and different corporations for its 4K video camera and ease of functionality: the standard camera that comes with the drone is hot-swappable with an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera, an optical zoom camera or even a multispectral camera depending on the needs of the user. 

Its size and easy maneuverability has also been praised by outlets, as well as its strong security measure built into the device that prevents hacking and information leaks from occurring within the device.

Meanwhile, the PF2-CAT3 drone gained positive press during the summit after a test of its systems allowed it to be Japan’s first drone to participate in a Level 4 flight in the country. A Level 4 flight is an unassisted, out-of-sight flight in a manned zone. 

ACSL, a Tokyo-based drone and automation manufacturing company, appears to be very positive about its future market prospects in the United States with SOTEN, as the Japanese company opened a subsidiary in California to engage better with its US market expansion plans. 

Among the actions they have taken to ensure their viability in the country’s drone market is continued consultations with US experts to ensure the compliance and refinement of its drone before it hits the shelves, as well as hiring Cynthia Huang, the former leader of the US branch of Chinese tech company DJI, to head the company’s US subsidiary.

Huang herself has praised the company and the drone for its “immense attention to detail” and believes that the product will open new doors for technology solutions in the United States: “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.”

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