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NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced that it 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 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.
Going forward, DOCOMO aims to further enhance its unique drone for expanded applications in society by applying the company's diverse experience and expertise in drones and mobile-network technologies.