Blade-free drone glowing while aloft Photo: NTT Docomo

Docomo develops blade-free drone fitted with high-res camera and LEDs


NTT Docomo Inc has developed a blade-free, blimp-type drone equipped with a high-resolution video camera that captures high-quality video and full-color LED lights that glow in radiant colors. The drone, which uses helium to stay aloft and is propelled by ultrasonic vibrations, is expected to be used at events, etc. for practical purposes including aerial videography as well as a surrealistic standalone attraction. Docomo said it aims to commercialize the drone within the current fiscal year ending next March.

Unlike conventional drones that require propellers and sometimes wings, Docomo's drone uses helium to remain airborne and is propelled forward/backward and up/down via small modules that produce ultrasonic vibrations to move air. The module makes little noise with its minute vibrations and is safe to touch, so even if the drone were to collide with a person or an object, serious injury or damage would be highly unlikely. As such, the drone is ideal for airborne use at events, commercial facilities and other places where people gather.

A prototype was first unveiled in 2019 in an effort to develop a highly safe drone with practical applications. The newest model is equipped with a more robust propulsion system and achieves more stable flight. Also, the new drone can be controlled via a communication network for easy systemized operation, including automated flight.

Source: NTT Docomo

© JCN Newswire

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Sounds like a helium filled balloon to me.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This has already been done in America years ago at games. Nothing new.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I would imagine this concept will be quickly forgotten. Maybe repackaged as a Childs toy but nonetheless, will quickly be forgotten. Has little practical use.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Not much good for windy countries?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

May be valuable tech for some applications of drones. The current challenge with airborne drones is the short battery life. The typical drone only gets 20-30 minutes in the air, which limits what you can do with them. If helium is providing the loft and the battery needs only to drive a steering mechanism, much longer airtime should be possible for the same amount of battery weight than with drones kept aloft like a helicopter.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Propelled by ultrasonic vibrations? I would like to learn more about that....never heard of it before. Can the same principle be used in the water?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Pray for no wind..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

HillclimberYesterday at 08:22 “As above, it's for use primarily indoors.”

Yes, I’m sure it is, but the article somehow manages to avoid saying so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Haaa NemuiNov. 17  07:51 am JST

Sounds like a helium filled balloon to me.

Lately, everything where there is an algorithm, however primitive, "AI" and other buzzwords. Anything that needs to be sold somehow just needs to be wrapped in some buzzword and that's enough here. So in this case it is a "drone", what does it matter that it is just a helium filled balloon with a couple of LEDs and an ultrasonic drive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LED zeppelin

as in led lighting and helium craft

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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