Intent Exchange, Inc. (hereafter Intent Exchange; Head office: Meguro-ku, Tokyo; President: Shinji Nakadai) and Skymatics, Inc. (hereafter Skymatics; Head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Zentaro Watanabe) have been selected as the project sponsor for the “Small/Startup Business Innovation Research Project (SBIR)” under the second supplementary budget for fiscal year Reiwa 4 of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and will proceed with the “Performance Improvement and Social Implementation of a Small Aerial Photography Drone to Meet Government Needs” project (hereinafter referred to as “the Project”).
1. Project Overview
The SBIR Project will be a grant project based on the SBIR system to promote R&D by SMEs engaged in innovative R&D (“startups, etc.”), and to smoothly implement the results in society under national leadership to promote the creation of innovation in our country.
Intent Exchange will be responsible for drone operation management, and Skymatics will be responsible for processing and analyzing aerial images.
The project is scheduled to run through the end of March 2027, and the amount of the grant is expected to be approximately 700 million yen. The final amount will be up to this amount, which will be confirmed by a finalization notice.
2. Background and Objective of the Project
Aging infrastructure in our country has become a major social problem, and drone inspections are expected to be utilized. However, drone inspections are currently not efficient due to a variety of grueling tasks. For example, drone operations require application work to the Civil Aviation Bureau, as well as consideration of ground and airborne risks, which require personal judgment by the operator. In addition, it is also time-consuming to identify deteriorated areas using image processing, and to determine where on the actual structure the deteriorated areas identified in the 2D image taken by aerial photography correspond to.
Intent Exchange will develop a drone inspection solution that uses AI to reduce ground and airborne risks in anticipation of the introduction of international standards-based operational management in Japan. Skymatics will develop technology to identify and display deteriorated areas identified in 2D images in 3D models. This will make a series of drone inspection operations seamless.
3. Deployment of Project Results
The project results will be provided to governments and other entities that conduct infrastructure inspections. In particular, we will develop technologies that can be used in the “Digital Lifeline National Comprehensive Development Plan,” which will enable rural areas with declining populations to benefit from digital technology.
In addition, we will also use our strength as a navigation management technology in accordance with international standards to expand our business results to overseas markets.