• Kyodo

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Toshiba Corp. and Canon Inc. are starting separate drone-based services for corporate clients.

Toshiba said Monday it will partner with auto parts manufacturer Alpine Electronics Inc. to commercialize a system by March 2018 to inspect remote infrastructure such as power cables and steel towers.

Their service will combine Alpine Electronics’ satellite navigation knowledge and Toshiba’s digital image processing and artificial intelligence technologies.

Camera and printer maker Canon Inc. meanwhile announced on Monday an investment in Prodrone Co., an Aichi Prefecture-based firm that manufactures drones for industrial use.

Canon and Prodrone plan to sell drones loaded with Canon’s cameras for farming, infrastructure inspection and surveillance purposes.

Among other major companies, agricultural machinery maker Kubota Corp. said last month it will start selling drones for spraying farmland with pesticides in 2017.