DOCOMO’s Blade-Free, Blimp Drone [VIDEO]

blimp droneDOCOMO Develops Blade-Free Blimp Drone

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

NTT DOCOMO, INC, Japan’s leading mobile operator with more than 83 million subscribers, has announced its development of a blade-free, blimp-type drone. Glowing in radiant colors, it comes equipped with a high-resolution video camera that captures high-quality video and full-color LED lights, and uses helium to stay afloat and is propelled by ultrasonic vibrations. The drone is expected to be used at events for practical purposes such as aerial videography, as well as a surrealistic standalone attraction. DOCOMO seeks to commercialize the drone within the current fiscal year ending this coming March.

Rather than rely on propellers or even wings like conventional drones, NTT DOCOMO’s drone relies instead on helium in order to remain airborne, and is propelled forwards and backwards and up and down by the use of small modules that produce ultrasonic vibrations to move air. The module produces minimal noise with its minute vibrations and is safe to touch, so even in the event that the drone were to collide with a person or an object, serious injury or damage would be highly unlikely. As a result of the safety afforded by its design, the drone is perfect for airborne use at events, commercial facilities and other areas where people gather.

In 2019, a prototype of the drone was first showcased in an effort to create a highly safe drone with practical applications. This updated model makes use of a more robust propulsion system to achieve more stable flight. In addition, the new drone is able to be controlled via a communication network for easy systemized operation, including automated flight.

DOCOMO is looking to further enhance its unique drone going forward, with plans for the model to allow for additional applications in society by leveraging the company’s diverse experience and expertise in drones and mobile-network technologies.

NTT DOCOMO is one of the world’s leading contributors to 3G, 4G and 5G mobile network technologies. In addition to its core communications services, DOCOMO is facing new frontiers in collaboration with a growing number of partners, developing new value-added services that seek to change the way people live and work.

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.